Sunday, August 27, 2006

"Bisphenol A (BPA) linked with breast cancer" (New Study)

From the MediaIndia article - >

According to researchers, bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastic bottles and other household products may be linked to the development of breast cancer.

Bisphenol A, “pseudo-oestrogen” which mimics female hormones, can stimulate cancer cells, when present in high concentrations.

Though previous studies suggest that natural changes in the oestrogen-like chemical after entering the body makes it harmless. However, a U.S. study revealed that these chemicals retain their carcinogenic properties even after modification inside the body....

BPA is used in the production of food containers, CDs and DVDs, car parts and in dental sealants. According to previous researches, BPA escapes from products and may be absorbed at low concentrations into the body.


An article from The Herald Times of Bloomington, IN, explained how the IU Chemistry Professor set out to prove that "Bisphenol A" was NOT connected to cancer and ended up proving the opposite. It is interesting when you know that the person got results opposite of what s/he expected to get.


The study, led by IU chemistry professor Ted Widlanski, appears in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology. It shows that the chemical bisphenol A retains breast cancer-causing properties even after being modified by bodily processes that were thought to neutralize them.

"It obviates one of the arguments people in industry had been using for why bisphenol A should be harmless," Widlanski said. "And it suggests this process may in fact be something to worry about."

Widlanski stressed the study doesn't demonstrate that the chemical causes cancer. Rather, he said, it points to the need for more research on how the chemical acts in the body.

Bisphenol A is a plasticizer used in making plastic water bottles, CDs, DVDs and other household products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found trace amounts of the chemical in 95 percent of urine samples collected from U.S. adults.

Working with researchers at IU, the IU School of Medicine and the University of California at Berkeley, Widlanski in fact set out to show bisphenol A wasn't something to worry about.

In 1997, he attended a lecture at IU by Dianne Dumanoski, co-author of "Our Stolen Future," a book that argued widespread chemical exposure disrupted delicate hormonal balances.

"I was outraged," he said, by Dumanoski's claim that funding pressures from chemical companies kept scientists from studying the risks of exposure. After the lecture, he challenged her to provide one example of a chemical that was causing the problems she claimed.

"I kept pressing her, and finally she said bisphenol A," he said. "I said, 'No way'."

He devised an experiment to confirm the hypothesis that bisphenol A would be changed by substances in the body into a form that wouldn't penetrate the walls of breast cancer cells.

"We were going about it with the mindset that bisphenol A could not possibly be the culprit, the body detoxifies it," he said.

Sure enough, the study showed, a human enzyme called estrogen sulfotransferase modifies the chemical by adding sulfate.

But when the modified chemical was added to a medium containing breast cancer cells, the sulfate was removed. Researchers said an enzyme on the surface of the cancer cells caused the change, allowing the chemical to enter the cells.

What was striking, Widlanski said, was that all the desulfated bisphenol A was inside the cancer cells and none was in the medium outside of them, suggesting the chemical could be concentrated in the cells.


I did a Google "News" search to see what media outlets were carrying this story - and at the time 18 related articles came up. has it,, and and a couple of other similar things in the US.

And otherwise there were 3 articles from India outlets; plus CBC News, Canada; Scotsman, United Kingdom, Monsters and, UK; and Kenya London News, Kenya.

It kind of makes you wonder what happened to the US media ? ? ? It sounds like it's more likely that people in Kenya will be better informed about this than people in the US - at the rate things are going.


P.S. At the Our Stolen Future site - there is news of another study that links Bisphenol A to Prostate Cancer.

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