One of the world's most widely used chemicals, a key constituent of plastic food and drink containers, has been linked for the first time with increased rates of heart disease and diabetes in adults.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the 10 most common chemicals produced worldwide and gives plastic its rigidity, durability and light weight. Researchers now fear that tiny amounts which leach out of plastic containers into food and drink may cause harm to health.
A team of British toxicologists analysed findings from an American survey of 1,455 adults and showed that the 25 per cent with the highest levels of the chemical were more than twice as likely to have heart disease and/or diabetes compared with the 25 per cent with the lowest levels. They also had higher levels of liver enzymes indicative of metabolic abnormalities.
Yesterday, the scientists from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter and the University of Iowa presented their findings to a panel of the US Food and Drug Administration which is hearing evidence on the risks of BPA.
Ninety per cent of the population were exposed to BPA, which is ubiquitous in products such as CD cases and dental sealants, the researchers said. Vast quantities were buried in landfill sites which could potentially have leached into drinking water and was also present in the air around manufacturing facilities.
Source - Independent