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Plastics Chemical BPA Tied to Ovarian Cysts
Date:6/21/2010

Women with the problem had higher levels of BPA, but study can't confirm cause-and-effect, experts say

MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- There may be more troubling news about the ubiquitous plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA): Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have higher levels of the chemical in their bloodstream, a study finds.

The ovaries of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) develop multiple "cysts" -- immature follicles bunching together in lumps --and the condition can raise the risk of several conditions including infertility, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In women with PCOS, higher BPA levels were also associated with elevated levels of male hormones, according to new research that was presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego.

And a second abstract, also being presented at the meeting, found that male rats exposed to BPA in the womb and while suckling suffered long-term testicular dysfunction.

The findings add to the burgeoning, if not-yet-definitive, evidence that BPA may have adverse health effects in humans.

BPA has been found in many plastic products, including baby bottles and sippy cups (although most baby bottles manufactured for the U.S. market no longer contain BPA), as well as metal linings of some cans.

The chemical, which acts similarly to the female hormone estrogen, has come under close scrutiny in the past several years, with studies linking it to a host of health and developmental problems.

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other U.S. health agencies announced that they were pledging $30 million toward short- and long-term research aimed at clarifying the health effects of BPA.

Most of the current data is from laboratory animals and shows subtle effects of BPA on heart disease, sexual dysfunction, cancer, diabetes and hyperactivity, as well as human studies which, among ot
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