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What Is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA)

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is the chemical used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic, which is found in water bottles, the resin lining of cans and, most importantly, in baby bottles and many other baby products.

Brother Max’s products have been specifically manufactured using BPA-free plastic, given the risks associated with BPA and a baby’s development.

 

How does it affect development in the unborn foetus?

There are a growing number of animal studies that show strong evidence that BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means that it can interfere with our normal hormone levels, in particular, it can mimic the effects of oestrogen.

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Low levels of BPA can affect the function of the reproductive organs as well as the immune system. Importantly, low doses of BPA have also been shown to affect brain structure, brain chemistry and behavior.

BPA appears to be a potent disruptor of meiosis, the cell division process that creates sperm or eggs. Errors in cell division are thought to be the most common known cause of mental retardation as well as being the leading genetic cause of pregnancy loss in humans.

Many of these effects are due to exposure to BPA by the mother during early development of the baby, through pregnancy and/or breast-feeding.

A study published in 2010 has confirmed that low levels of BPA can transfer across the human placenta, mainly in its active unbound form.

Measurements of current human contamination unfortunately indicate that exposure of human foetuses to BPA already occurs at levels within the range demonstrated to cause adverse effects in foetal rodents.

 What are the potential effects of BPA in a developing baby, from birth onwards?

Changes in brain development and behaviour have also been linked to low-dose BPA in both animal and human studies .

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Animal studies have shown post-natal oestrogenic effects including faster growth rates and earlier puberty in girls as well as reduced sperm production and larger prostates in males with exposure to low dose BPA.

 Up to what age can BPA affect a baby’s development?

It appears that exposure to low doses of BPA has the potential to affect us throughout our entire lives.

In a case–control study in 2004 , significantly higher blood levels of BPA were reported both in obese women and in women with polycystic ovarian disease.

BPA exposure has also been shown to result in insulin resistance , which is related to both obesity and Type 11 Diabetes.

Low dose BPA is known to be an endocrine disruptor mimicking the effects of oestrogen on different body tissues.

Very low doses of BPA have been shown to stimulate responses in animal pancreas cells and pituitary tumor cells, as well as human breast cancer cells (through rapid induction of calcium uptake) . These same low doses of BPA also stimulate proliferation in both animal and human prostate cells in culture.(vii-ix)

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What are Australian regulations regarding BPA?

Currently, there are no specific regulations regarding the use of BPA in Australia. It is important to note, however, that in August 2011 several US states banned the use of BPA in baby products. This follows a complete ban of BPA baby products in Canada and the European Union, with both China and Malaysia considering bans next year.

What is Brother Max’s philosophy about BPA?

Brother Max is committed to the health and wellbeing of all babies and children from pre-birth onwards. Our commitment to BPA-free products is supported by the exclusion of other toxic chemicals such as phthalates, Formaldehyde and Toluene.


  An Extensive New Literature Concerning Low-Dose Effects of Bisphenol A
Shows the Need for a New Risk Assessment
Frederick S. vom Saal and Claude Hughes
VOLUME 113 | NUMBER 8 | August 2005 • Environmental Health Perspectives

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Apr;202(4):393.e1-7.
Transfer of bisphenol A across the human placenta.
Balakrishnan B, Henare K, Thorstensen EB, Ponnampalam AP, Mitchell MD.

Same as (i)

  Takeuchi T, Tsutsumi O, Ikezuki Y, Takai Y, Taketani Y. 2004.
Positive relationship between androgen and the endocrine disruptor, bisphenol A, in normal women and women with ovarian dysfunction. Endocr J 51:165–169

  The Estrogenic Effect of Bisphenol A Disrupts Pancreatic β-Cell Function
In Vivo and Induces Insulin Resistance
Paloma Alonso-Magdalena, Sumiko Morimoto, Cristina Ripoll, Esther Fuentes, and Angel Nadal
VOLUME 114 | NUMBER 1 | January 2006 • Environmental Health Perspectives

       Walsh DE, Dockery P, Doolan CM. 2005. Estrogen receptor
independent rapid non-genomic effects of environmental
estrogens on [CA2+]i in human breast cancer cells. Mol
Cell Endocrinol 230:23–30.

viii    Wozniak AL, Bulayeva NN, Watson CS. 2005. Xenoestrogens at
picomolar to nanomolar concentrations trigger membrane
estrogen receptor-α–mediated Ca2+ fluxes and prolactin
release in GH3/B6 pituitary tumor cells. Environ Health Perspect 113:431–439.

        ix      Wetherill YB, Petra CE, Monk KR, Puga A, Knudsen KE. 2002. The
xenoestrogen bisphenol A induces inappropriate androgen
receptor activation and mitogenesis in prostate adenocarcinoma
cells. Mol Cancer Ther 7:515–524

 

Please note that a comprehensive document containing all of the low-dose BPA references, as well as information concerning mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, sources of exposure, and exposure levels in
humans, is available online (EndocrineDisruptors Group 2005).