Lower doses of Bisphenol-A than were thought dangerous have significant effect on rats.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical found in baby bottles, water bottles, canned foods and an array of other consumer products. The potential health effects of BPA are currently the subjects of intense debate.
Now new research from North Carolina State University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, led by Dr Heather Patisaul, shows significant reproductive health effects in rats that have been exposed to BPA at levels equivalent to or below the dose that has been thought not to produce any adverse effects.
The study found that female rats exposed to a BPA dose of 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight (µg /kg) – equivalent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 'Lowest Observable Adverse Effect Level' for BPA – in their first four days of life experienced early onset of puberty. Female rats exposed to 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) during their first four days of life developed significant ovarian malformations and premature loss of their estrus cycle.
The researchers stressed that the research was done on rats, making it difficult to determine its applicability to humans, but noted that it adds to a growing body of evidence that exposure to low doses of BPA during development can impact female reproductive health. The female rats in the study were exposed during the first four days of life because that is a sensitive developmental window for the rats, similar to a sensitive developmental stage that takes place for humans when they are still in the womb.
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First Published in June 2009