Columbus, OH — A new study has concluded that we have vastly underestimated the levels of bisphenol A (BPA) we are consuming. BPA is an industrial chemical found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are commonly used to make food and drink containers as well as other consumer goods, while epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metals such as bottle caps and water supply lines. They can even be found coating your receipt. After purchasing your bottled drink, being handed that coated receipt and walking out, you step outside and take long drink. BPA can seep from the packaging into the products humans consume where they are then processed by the body.
The FDA has been doing ongoing research into the amount of BPA found in our diets, as well as the adverse effects it has on humans and wildlife. It seems to have the largest impact on sea life and smaller animals while also increasing the risks of health conditions in humans including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and infertility.
“Understanding the amount of BPA that enters the human body is essential for risk assessment. However, rapid metabolism of orally ingested BPA means accurate assessment in humans requires not only measurement of BPA but also of its major conjugated metabolites. The primary metabolite, BPA glucuronide, and secondary metabolite, BPA sulfate, are excreted in urine. Thus, biomonitoring of urine over time provides the best insight to human exposure to BPA.”
The new method for testing BPA directly targets the detection of metabolites which are the byproduct. Using this method they found test subjects had a much more varied results, with higher levels of BPA detected in their systems than previously recorded. Some results displayed as much as 44 times the amount of metabolites in the peoples systems.
Why This Matters— As the authors in the journal state, this is the first direct analysis of metabolite levels. As we come to learn more about BPA and how it affects the human body, the importance of knowing the actual levels of BPA being consumed will only increase. With more accurate data sets, agencies such as the FDA will be able to make more effective regulations to keep people safe.