Posted by: Ticktock | September 16, 2008

Toxins In The News – 9/16/08

Bisphenol-A is back with a vengeance… just when we thought we were done with that toxin it sucks us back in.  This time the Journal of the American Medical Association has released a study based on a survey of 1,455 American adults that showed a link between the chemical BPA and both heart disease and diabetes.  There were twice as many individuals with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the group with high amounts of BPA in their urine as there were in the group with low amounts of BPA in their urine.  This alarming news comes after the FDA has made waves by declaring BPA safe.

We would all do well to remember that the correlation between diseases and a single documentation of chemical levels does not actually prove that one causes the other.  For instance, my wife pointed out that people who eat processed garbage out of heated up plastic are likely to have both high levels of BPA and diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  I agreed with her and pointed out that measuring BPA in a person’s urine sample tells us how much BPA that person consumed since their last urination.

It should also be noted that endocrinologists are worried that skeptics are treating this chemical as a traditional toxin (the dose makes the poison).  To the contrary, some scientists are actually concerned that BPA is more dangerous at low levels over a long duration, but if this is true then why are we not seeing more adverse effects from our BPA-exposed population?  There has yet to be a satisfactory answer.

PVC plastics – If you want to hyperventilate about plastic toxins, then you may be interested in the list of PVC-free school supplies provided by The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice.  This whole thing is starting to get ridiculous.  Are we now worried that kids are going to eat their backpacks and notebooks?  BPA plastics are hard and PVC plastics are soft, so now you know that healthy plastics are neither hard nor soft.  Good luck figuring that one out!

Fire RetardantsThe Environmental Working Group did a study and found that children had three times as many toxic chemicals from flame retardants in their systems as their mothers.  These toxins called polybrominated diphenyl ethers were not found in great quantities overall, so this study is designed to sound scarier than it actually should be.  Think of it this way, if I have 2 cents in my pocket and my kid has 6 cents in her pocket, you could say that she is three times as rich as me.  You could say that, but why would you?

This is a situation where the risks are unproven and overblown and the benefits include safety from the dangers of a fire.  But if you are worried about flame retardant toxins, you should dust more.  Now you have an excuse.  🙂


  1. I think it’s great that children are 3 times less flammable than their parents… Oh wait, is that not what you were implying? 😉

  2. […] waffled in my opinions on the plastic known as Bisphenol-A (BPA) as the evidence for it and against it have been volleyed back and forth. Eventually, the debate began to tire me, and I caved in to […]

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