The Connection Between Bisphenol A and Heart Disease
There has been a lot of news about increased heart disease risk (as well as diabetes and liver problems) from Bisphenol A, a widely used chemical found in many plastic products as far back as the 1950s. It makes plastics tough, shatterproof and appears in everything from water bottles to baby bottles. About 2 billion pounds of it is manufactured each year and one government estimate suggests that 93% of the American population is exposed to it. Now, the first large-scale study of Bisphenol A in humans - recently released by the Journal of the American Medical Association - found that those with the highest levels of Bisphenol A had a higher incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and liver abnormalities.
Although the FDA has long held that Bisphenol A does not pose a health risk, this new study, as well as numerous animal studies in the past, suggest otherwise. Predictably, the fight has now degenerated into dueling research between the plastics industry, who want to hold on to this profitable product, and health researchers on a new crusade. The real question is: How should we, as consumers, react? Despite the studies on both sides, all we know for certain is that there is an "association" between Bisphenol A and certain health risks. They do not "prove" a risk. For example, take this set of facts.
1. Every time a plane flies over my yard my neighbor's dog barks.
2. A plane has never landed in my yard.
What I can say is that barking dogs are associated with planes not landing in my yard. What I cannot say is that barking dogs caused the plane not to land in my yard.
We are all exposed to many risks for many diseases in our lives. It is up to us to decide which risks we can accept and those we cannot. There is a risk associated with crossing the street, too, but I still do it every day. We each must ask what the rewards are versus the perceived risk of any action. (By the way, I do look both ways before crossing streets as a reasonable safeguard.)
Should you avoid Bisphenol A?
My answer: There would appear to be some benefit for now if you can easily avoid Bisphenol A. Many manufacturers have already seen this choice being made and have begun to voluntarily remove it from their products. But, while I would DEFINITELY turn down a drink from plastic bottle of liquid drain cleaner (proven health risk), I would not turn down bottled water if I was in the desert! Weigh the risks versus the rewards. This is a great way to start taking control of your own health!
Looking out for your heart health - HeartHawk