Washington, D.C. – A new study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that children and teens with very high levels of the plastics chemical, bisphenol A, or BPA, in their urine are much more likely to be obese when compared to kids with low levels of the toxic chemical. The study, by a research team from the New York University School of Medicine, involved 2838 participants aged 6 through 19 years, a large sampling deemed representative of the American population.
"How many more serious health problems associated with exposure to BPA have to pile up before the FDA restricts its use from food, beverage and infant formula packaging?" said Sonya Lunder, senior research analyst with the Environmental Working Group. "This latest research implicates BPA in one of the most serious public health emergencies faced by young Americans. And while there are many factors contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic, the FDA could take immediate steps to address one possible cause by removing this toxic chemical from the nation's food system, beginning with baby formula."
The Food and Drug Administration announced last July that baby bottles and sippy cups could no longer contain BPA. The FDA’s action, while a positive step, will have little impact on children’s health. A consumer revolt and state-level legislation have already driven BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. However, most Americans’ exposure to BPA comes from their diet, primarily the epoxy coating that lines infant formula cans and most other aluminum food cans sold in the U.S.
The chemical leaches readily into liquids it touches. In 2007, the Environmental Working Group found that four of the world’s leading formula makers were using BPA as an ingredient in their formula cans. The FDA is currently considering a petition to ban BPA in baby formula.
This new study is more evidence implicating BPA in a number of serious human health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, female and male fertility problems and polycystic ovarian syndrome.