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Heating Plastic Bottles Releases Potentially Harmful Chemical
Date:1/30/2008

Study found exposure to boiling water released environmental estrogen 55 times faster

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Exposing plastic bottles to boiling water can release a potentially harmful chemical 55 times faster than normal, new research suggests.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in the plastics that make up water bottles, baby bottles, and other food and drink packaging. It acts as an environmental estrogen and can disrupt the function of the endocrine system.

In 2007, an expert panel convened by the U.S. Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) concluded that exposure to BPA presents some risk to development and reproduction, although it's unclear at what level that harm begins to occur.

"There isn't a real answer," said study senior author Scott Belcher, an associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Cincinnati. "There seems to be a current difference of opinion between the scientific research field and the folks doing risk assessment. If you were to sum it up in an easy, relatively conservative way, the scientific data points to some reason for caution at low concentrations. There really isn't much information regarding the effects on human populations directly."

Belcher's findings appear in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Toxicology Letters.

Animal experiments have suggested that BPA may mimic the female sex hormone estradiol. The fear has been that exposure to BPA can cause birth defects and developmental problems. In addition, exposure to BPA has been blamed for a variety of other problems, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and attention-deficit disorder.

Exposure to BPA can occur through direct contact or by exposure to food or drink that has been in contact with material containing BPA.

Previous studies had found that repeatedly scrubbing, washing and boiling polycarbonate baby bottles could cause them to releas
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