New Findings Add to Health Concerns About a Chemical in Plastics

Week 9 – Plastics – Listening Transcript
New Findings Add to Health Concerns About a Chemical in Plastics
BPA is commonly used in products like food containers, reusable water bottles, baby bottles and the insides of metal cans.
Transcript of radio broadcast:
24 September 2008
This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Bisphenol A is a chemical widely used to make hard, polycarbonate plastic. Food storage containers,
reusable water bottles and baby bottles are among the many different products that may contain BPA. BPA
is also commonly used in protective coverings inside metal food and drink cans.
People can swallow small amounts of BPA as they eat or drink. An industry Web site says more than forty
years of safety research shows that products made with bisphenol A are safe.
But others question the safety of BPA. Now, a large study has linked it to diabetes and heart disease in
Researchers divided almost one thousand five hundred American
adults into four groups based on BPA levels in their urine. All the
levels were within the limits considered safe by the United States
Food and Drug Administration. Yet the study found that the highest
group was more than twice as likely as the lowest group to have
heart disease or diabetes, or both.
Canadian Environment Minister John
Baird, left, and Health Minister Tony
Clement hand out baby bottles that are
free of BPA. In April, Mister Clement
announced Canada's plans to limit use of
the chemical.
The Food and Drug Administration and chemical industry officials
said the study does not show that bisphenol A caused the diseases.
The researcher who led the study, David Melzer at England's
University of Exeter, agrees. He says the findings must be
reproduced and that other studies are also needed.
But he also says that if BPA is a cause of these conditions, then just
reducing contact with it might prevent some cases. The study
appeared last week in the Journal of the American Medical