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Angella
6th August 2012, 07:23 PM
A chemical used to make food wrapping could be the cause of surging prostate cancer rates in men, says a study.
Bisphenol A is widely used in the food industry to make plastic drinks bottles and is known to leach into food and has long been suspected of disrupting human sex hormones. The chemical can leak from the plastic, especially when the containers are heated, cleaned with harsh detergents or exposed to acidic foods or drinks.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been detected in nearly all human bodies tested in the United States.

In the new report, which was published online in Environmental Health Perspectives earlier this month, scientists Frederick vom Saal and Claude Hughes said that as of December, 115 studies had been published examining low doses of the chemical, and 94 of them found harmful effects.

Roger Kirby, consultant urologist at St George's hospital, London, said the new research could help explain at least some of the reasons for the surge in prostate cancer rates.

We are seeing more prostate cancer, and are also seeing it in younger people.

So clearly there could be some environmental factor, he said.

In an interview, vom Saal, a reproductive biologist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said there was now an "overwhelming weight of evidence" that the plastics compound is harmful. "This is a snowball running down a hill, where the evidence is accumulating at a faster and faster rate," vom Saal said. "You can't open a scientific journal related to sex hormones and not read an article that would just floor you about this chemical.

The chemical industry's position that this is a weak chemical has been proven totally false.

In their study, vom Saal and Hughes suggest an explanation for the conflicting results of studies: 100 percent of the 11 funded by chemical companies found no risk, while 90 percent of the 104 government-funded, nonindustry studies reported harmful effects.

100 percent of the 11 funded by chemical companies found no risk, while 90 percent of the 104 government-funded, nonindustry studies reported harmful effects..
--Frederick vom Saal, reproductive biologist at the University of Missouri-Columbia
The chemical causes microscopic changes in the developing prostate gland but these are not apparent at birth. Instead, they show up years later when they lead to a range of prostate diseases, such as enlargement and cancer.

In Britain, rates of the cancer have surged to about 27,000 new diagnoses and 10,000 deaths a year.

It is now almost as big a killer as breast cancer in women.

Plastics More Dangerous Then Once Thought

The results showed that even tiny amounts of both hormones far lower relative to body size than what humans are exposed to could disrupt development of the prostate gland.

About 2.8m tons of bisphenol is produced every year worldwide.

Evidence is mounting that a chemical in plastic that is one of the world's most widely used industrial compounds may be risky in the small amounts that seep from bottles and food packaging, according to a recent report in a scientific journal.

The authors of the report, who reviewed more than 100 studies, urged the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the risks of bisphenol A and consider restricting its use.

Plastics industry representatives say that the trace amounts that migrate from some products pose no danger and are far below safety thresholds set by the EPA and other agencies.

source : Dr. Grisanti