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Chemical BPA Linked to Heart Disease Risk
Date:1/13/2010

But study doesn't establish cause-and-effect

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- New research raises the possibility that people who have the highest levels of a chemical known as BPA in their urine are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease.

But the findings don't prove that bisphenol A (BPA) actually causes heart disease -- one scientist even suggests other factors may be at play -- and researchers can't explain why statistics suggest that urinary levels of the chemical dropped by one-third over just two years during the last decade.

Still, the numbers raise more questions about BPA, which is found in a huge variety of plastic products. "The risks associated with exposure to BPA may be small, but they are relevant to very large numbers of people," said study author Tamara S. Galloway, a researcher at the University of Exeter in England.

BPA, which is used to make hard, clear plastic and epoxy resin, is found in everyday items, from food and drink containers to electronic and medical equipment.

It has been linked to sexual dysfunction, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even hyperactivity in girls. But the chemical industry questions the validity of studies and contends that BPA is safe.

"Studies of this type are very limited in what they tell us about potential impacts on human health. While they can provide helpful information on where to focus future research, by themselves they cannot and should not be used to demonstrate that a particular chemical can cause a particular effect. The public should be confident that BPA is one of the most studied chemicals. Regulatory bodies from around the world have recently completed scientific evaluations and found BPA safe in food-contact products, including canned foods and beverages," stated Steven G. Hentges, of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.

"The study itself does not establish a cause-and-effe
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