Plastics chemical found in human tissue at high levels

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A key chemical used in modern plastics has been found in human tissues at 10 times the concentration considered safe, new research has found.

A team of international researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia reviewed more than 700 studies on Bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in plastic containers and bottles. The team found that levels of BPA in human tissue could reach levels of 0.5 mg per kilogram of body weight – 10 times higher than the recommended safe level as set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The lead author of the research, Frederick vom Saal, told New Scientist magazine that for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to pretend that BPA is safe was ‘unacceptable’.
‘To draw the conclusion [that BPA exposure is within safe limits] you have to ignore the publications showing that there is extensive and continuous exposure of humans to BPA,’ he told the magazine.

Vom Saal now plans to investigate the original EFSA report to discover if it was influenced by external interests. The Authority has already strongly denied the allegation.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist August 2007