Yesterday, a Maine-based environmental group - Toxics Action Center - released "The Latest Science on Bisphenol A - January to July 2010." The report precedes Maine's Board of Environmental Protection's public hearing by one week; the meeting concerns a statewide ban on Bisphenol A (BPA), the group noted on its Web site.

BPA is a ubiquitous polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin found in a wide variety of consumer products, including common paper receipts, as well as in water as a result of aquatic paints. BPA can be found in appliances and windshields; aluminum can linings; baby bottles, infant formula, and sippy cups; eyeglasses; some dental sealants; water bottles; cars; and DVD and CD cases. As a component, BPA can be verified if the item contains recycling number 7. Over six billion pounds of BPA are produced annually.

The report contains the must current collection of published scientific literature - from January through June 2010 - regarding the health impacts of BPA, said Toxics Action. Of 81 studies included in the compilation, the vast majority - 75 in all - conclude that not only are humans exposed to the chemical but that there exist negative health reactions connected to exposure to BPA, wrote Toxics Action.

The study stated that, "those 75 studies indicate that BPA is associated with early on-set puberty, diabetes, disruptions to growth hormones and developmental programming, different types of cancer, disruptions to gene expression, changes in external behavior, memory loss, interference with response to testosterone, male sexual dysfunction, heart disease, interference with brain function, impaired reproductive activity and genital formation, impaired embryonic development, obesity, impaired nervous system development, liver damage, interference with the immune system, asthma, low birth weight, and gastrointestinal inflammation," quoted Toxics Action.

Laura Stevens, community organizer with Toxics Action Center, sees a bright side, she said. "
The good news is we don't have to keep using BPA. Safer, affordable alternatives to BPA are already widely in use. A number of states have successfully banned BPA in certain consumer products. These states are Vermont, Maryland, Minnesota, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin, and Washington"
Known to imitate the hormone estrogen, BPA acts as an anti-androgen, affecting sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. Hundreds of prior studies linked BPA to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, premature puberty, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems. BPA is found in the bodies of 93 percent of Americans and 90 percent of all newborns.