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Fillings, Sealants May Leach BPA Into Kids' Mouths
Date:9/7/2010

he U.S. Food and Drug Administration, BPA has been used in the manufacturing of hard plastic bottles and metal cans since the 1960s. The agency notes that toxicity testing has indicated that human exposure to small amounts of the chemical is not problematic.

However, some recent research with laboratory animals has linked BPA exposure to heart health issues, an increased risk for cancer and diabetes, and some degree of sexual dysfunction and hyperactivity. In addition, particular concerns have also been raised about the potential risk to the brain, prostate and behavioral health of young children, infants and fetuses.

In light of that concern, the FDA in January took "reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply" by funding additional BPA research to the tune of $30 million. At the same time, the agency has been working with manufacturers to move away from products that contain the compound.

Fleisch and her team noted, however, that the agency has not banned BPA from the market.

The authors focused their analysis on the use of BPA-laced materials in dental products by reviewing what they characterized as "sparse" and "mixed" findings dating back about 15 years.

Based on their review, they found there is exposure to pure BPA following dental procedures, but it appears to be short-lived. They added that some products contained different variations and concentrations of BPA.

So, while noting that resin-based sealants are a critical tool for maintaining good oral health in children, the study authors called for manufacturers to label their sealant products to help dentists distinguish which formulations are more or less risky.

The research team also stressed that steps should be taken to minimize exposure to children and pregnant women "to the greatest extent possible."

"There are simple precautionary application techniques that can be used to dramatically reduce BPA exposure for people getting the
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