Study links BPA in plastics to erectile dysfuctionNews — By nygal on November 17, 2009 at 11:24 am
Bisphenol-A, a chemical found in hard, clear plastic used to make everything from baby bottles to food packaging, may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in male factory workers exposed to large amounts of the substance, according to a study conducted in China.
The health effects of BPA have been hotly debated; although some studies have linked BPA to a risk of brain damage, birth defects, hyperactivity, heart disease, early puberty, obesity, and prostate cancer, other research suggests that the low level of exposure from plastics doesn’t pose a health risk to adults. (The picture is less clear for children.)
Part of the problem is that much of the research has been conducted in mice and other animals, and its validity in humans is controversial. Although not conclusive, the potential health effects have caused some baby-bottle and water-bottle manufacturers to stop using the chemical, at least in part because of public concern. BPA is not found in soft, pliable plastic used in most water bottles.
Now, the new study — one of the first to be conducted in humans — seems to support a finding previously reported only in animal research.
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