by Tom Laskawy
November 4, 2010
Something tells me that Congress will not be banning your favorite endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A anytime soon, even though Canada has. Just a theory. But while the political prospects for BPA's demise are dropping, the scientific landslide of data set off by recent revelations and press reports regarding the chemical rolls on.
In news that hits a guy where it hurts, scientists from Kaiser Permanente showed that men with higher levels of BPA exposure were two to four times more likely to have fewer sperm overall, fewer live sperm, and poor semen quality. Ouch. Although the BPA levels in Chinese workers involved in the study were still within EPA safety guidelines, the semen problems were severe enough, according to a UCSF reproductive expert not involved with the study, to cause infertility.
Meanwhile, a group of government and university scientists (including Linda Birnbaum, director of the U.S. government's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) conducted the first peer-reviewed study to detect BPA levels in U.S. food products (study). They confirmed earlier work by Consumer Reports showing that canned foods do indeed test positive for BPA, though at highly variable levels. And poor Del Monte: the scientists identified Del Monte green beans as having some of the highest BPA levels of any product on store shelves.