A preliminary study calls into question what is known about bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and how it is removed from the body. BPA is a chemical commonly used in hardened plastics and is often found in baby bottles, water bottles and eyeglass lenses.
Based on early
evidence, researchers suspect that humans are primarily exposed to BPA from
food and that the chemical is eliminated from the body in about 24 hours.
However, this latest study suggests that BPA may also be present in other sources and/or remain in the body’s fat tissues. The researchers analyzed data on 1,469 adults living in the United States from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The CDC researchers recorded the participants fasting BPA levels and collected dietary information. Although the participants fasted before having their BPA levels measured, they were allowed to drink water, black coffee and diet soda.
The authors of this recent study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, compared the participants’ BPA levels to the length of their fasting period. They hypothesized that people who fasted longer would have lower BPA levels. However, the researchers discovered that participants who fasted only had moderately lower BPA levels than those who had just eaten.
According to the
authors, these results suggest that BPA may come from sources other than food,
such as water. They also suggest that BPA may enter fat tissue, where it would
be released more slowly.
However, the results of this study are limited and open to interpretation. Additional studies are needed to understand how BPA exposure occurs and how it is removed from the body.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that BPA is safe, despite early evidence that may be associated with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Canada banned BPA from plastic baby bottles in October 2008.