Plastics additive raises safety fears
By Wade Rawlins
The plastic additive is leaching from your water bottles, soda cans, baby bottles, microwaveable dishes — just about anything made of certain lightweight clear plastics.
And it mimics the hormone estrogen, which some research indicates could harm human health, particularly the development of fetuses and newborn babies.
Known as BPA, bisphenol-A has been used in commercial production of lightweight plastics and epoxy resins since the 1950s. Billions of pounds are produced annually. Traces of it are found in almost everyone — including the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.
Although the chemical industry contends that the weight of scientific evidence on bisphenol-A doesn’t support claims of harm, the chemical remains controversial. Studies flagging the compound’s possible health threat to humans have made people nervous about the plastics they use every day to serve and store food.
“There is a cause for concern,” said Gerald LeBlanc, chairman of the department of environmental and molecular toxicology at N.C. State.
“It’s not something we should be sweeping under the rug.”