More BPA research on the way

The National Institutes of Health just announced that they will devote $30 million over two years to study the safety of BPA, the estrogen-like chemical in many plastics and the linings of metal cans. You’ve likely heard customers clamor for BPA-free plastic bottles and cans, and you’ve probably seen manufacturers respond. Studies have already linked the chemical with infertility, weight gain, behavioral changes, early onset puberty, prostate and breast cancer and diabetes. Despite the growing concern over BPA, the Food and Drug Administration still has not recommended that people stop using products containing BPA. They say that typical exposure levels are below those that might cause ill effects. Yet, The National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has reported "some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures." The newly funded NIH research will focus on low doses of BPA and health effects, including behavior, obesity, diabetes, reproductive disorders, development of prostate, breast and uterine cancer, asthma and cardiovascular diseases. Personally, I err on the side of caution and try to limit my BPA exposure. I've switched to BPA-free plastic bottles, or I opt for stainless steel. But I haven't checked the contents of the cans that contain the beans or soups I regularly buy. Maybe I should. Or maybe I shouldn't have to. Do you think the FDA is wise to wait for more research before cautioning against the chemical? Or is there enough evidence already to warrant a ban? Is it up to consumers to stay educated and natural products manufacturers and retailers to lead the healthy way, or does the government need to get involved with this issue? Is it already over for BPA -- in other words, are consumers already convinced that BPA is a baddie no matter what new research discovers? Sound off below.

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