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Earth Medicine Science

Studies Prove BPA Can Cross Placenta To Fetuses 234

Totes McGotes writes "From canned food to plastic bottles, Bisphenol-A seems to be cropping up everywhere, and now two new studies show that BPA freely crosses the placenta from pregnant mother to fetus. Plus, the research found that chemical transformations occur in the fetus allowing inactive BPA to be converted to the active form."
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Studies Prove BPA Can Cross Placenta To Fetuses

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  • Aaaand... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @03:58PM (#32501162)
    ...what is this Bisphenol-A and why should I care?
  • by Pigeon451 ( 958201 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:04PM (#32501256)

    So now that companies have stopped using BPA, what other additives should we investigate? Plastics still contain various chemicals that define the type of plastic...

    I've moved to using glass for food storage. Although heavier, it's chemically safer since it's non-porous, and much easier to clean.

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:07PM (#32501276) Homepage Journal

    Studies don't "prove" anything. All they do is add a little weight to one side of an argument or another. Exactly how much weight depends on what was studied, how it relates to existing science, the methodology of the study, etc., etc., etc.

    This study seems to add a little evidence to the belief that BPA is dangerous, of which there's already a lot. But only scientifically illiterate journalists and pundits (and, unfortunately, not a few opinionated doctors) look a single study and jump to big conclusion. You really need to look at the whole body of research.s

  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:27PM (#32501560)

    Actually, it is fixing the issue. Practically overnight an industry of BPA-free containers sprang up to service those people who wished to avoid exposure to the chemical. Media and research exists in a free market, so, it's not like we wouldn't have known any link.

    Those that don't care (as in, not caring about their health, not caring since they're using the container to store stuff they don't intend to drink, etc) could still buy it and the prices the market will bare.

    There's a lot of stuff the Free Market can't fix. This isn't one of them.

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:31PM (#32501614) Homepage Journal

    Dude, did you read even a single word of what I said? If you had, you'd know I wasn't defending BPA.

  • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:36PM (#32501682)

    Assuming they are properly labeled. Unfortunately, the free market only works in a 100% informed populace that can weigh the costs and benefits of any product and have the option to choose. And the fairy tale land of perfectly informed people hasn't yet been made real. Clearly a failure of the free market and government regulation!

    While BPA has alternatives, it's not always 100% clear. Many metal cans and bottles use a plastic lining that happens to contain BPA. Many "glass" products are actually layers of glass and plastic, or just plastic. With no labeling requirements on products composed of mixed materials, I couldn't make informed decisions even if I wanted to.

    Finally, not related to BPA (where alternatives exist if you're willing to look hard enough for them), sometimes the free market fails to provide an alternative. I was trying to find beef stock the other day to make Swedish Meatballs. I generally prefer to avoid MSG and corn syrup in my food products. Of the ~8-10 different varieties of beef stock on the shelf at my local supermarket, all but one of them had MSG (and in large quantities) and a majority (forget the exact number) featured corn syrup (and yes, the only one without MSG had corn syrup). I ended up going with the MSG-free variety (the sodium content was roughly 1/8 that of the standard beef stock from any other brand, and 1/4 the sodium in the "low sodium" varieties), but the free market wouldn't let me avoid corn syrup as well. Nor for that matter do I know if the can itself had a lining containing BPA; even if I wanted to avoid BPA I had no way of making that decision.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:36PM (#32501684) Journal
    Unfortunately, the industry of "BPA free" products sprang up at pretty much exactly the same time that the industry of BPA free products did. It turns out that printing new labels is much easier than actually reformulating your products.

    Also, the "Contains BPA; but nobody except professional toxicologists studying the subject and hardcore supply chain wonks knows that" industries have been largely unaffected.

    Pretty much as theory would predict, the areas closest to ideal markets with zero barriers to entry and equally informed participants achieved something close to a free market solution. The areas that deviated from those assumptions, whether by fraud, subterfuge, imperfect information, or existence of externalities did not.
  • by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:43PM (#32501768) Homepage Journal

    Except for all the people who will continue to use these products because they didn't hear.

    So, we're supposed to craft a society to pander to those who are unwilling or incapable of doing their own research? Yeah, that should work out well....

  • by jameskojiro ( 705701 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:51PM (#32501912) Journal

    We are simply "selecting" for people who stay well informed and actually have a decent IQ. We need to compensate for all dumbasses we are keeping alive despite their own unintentional efforts to put themselves out of the gene pool.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) * on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:52PM (#32501916) Homepage

    The fact that you can taste the plastic container in the food

    This has always baffled me. As a kid I remember the plasticy taste from our plastic drink cups. It was especially noticeable if it was a closed container. You don't need a scientist to tell you it is leeching into the water when you can taste it. I don't understand why that didn't make people think "wait... it tastes like plastic... doesn't that mean that there is plastic leeching in the water? Is this possibly bad for me?"

  • by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:58PM (#32502024)

    I love it when the description actually explains why something it good or bad.

    No! That's bad when that happens! The ability to comment and moderate are meant for us to demonstrate our superior intellectual capabilities by correcting the glaring factual errors and omissions of TFS and TFA. No, /. depends on bad summaries and articles.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:59PM (#32502050) Homepage

    The opposite of Idiocracy? We definitely need more products like this!

    Sterilize the stupid, kill off the uneducated, yay!

  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @05:09PM (#32502208)

    The article didn't say that the study proved that BPA is dangerous. It said that they proved that BPA can cross the placenta. All it takes to prove that something possible is to record a single incident of it occurring. That is definitely within the realm of what a single study can do, and assuming that these studies were performed correctly, that is exactly what they did. There are a lot of things that cannot be conclusively proven with a single piece of evidence, but the use of the word in this headline here is perfectly legitimate.

  • Re:so? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <{tms} {at} {infamous.net}> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @05:34PM (#32502566) Homepage

    If something were really, really bad for you, the evidence would be overwhelming.

    I'm sure your grandfather's doctor said the same thing to him in the 1950s about cigarette smoking. "Bad for you? Nonsense, we'd have overwhelming evidence by now. Have a Camel, they're good for you! [flyingsnail.com]"

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @05:40PM (#32502646) Homepage Journal

    The article didn't say that the study proved that BPA is dangerous.

    True. But the headline did. Does rather (look at the caption line of your current window)

    It said that they proved that BPA can cross the placenta.

    No, it said researchers "found" this to be the case in experiments with pregnant rats. I'm not just quibbling when I refuse to use the P word here. This is evidence that BPA crosses human placentas, and anybody who cares about neonatal health should certainly pay attention. But it's just not the same as proof. Another researcher might do another study that confirms or refutes this one. That wouldn't be proof either, just more evidence. And any of the above studies might get torn down if something finds fault with their methodology — which happens a lot in science, especially medical science.

    Science isn't about proof. It's about accumulating evidence that backs up or tears down whatever theory or model happens to be under examination. This is inconvenient if you want to write pat little headlines, but it's the main reason science is more effective at advancing human knowledge than religion.

  • Re:Aaaand... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @06:13PM (#32503020)
    The only waste management we need right now is disposal of kdawson's shit stories.
  • Re:Sort of (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @10:35PM (#32505642) Journal

    It has got to be something because if you have been anywhere near a Junior High lately you know something ain't right. I was loading my groceries at a store next to our local JHS when they got out, and all I could think is "How in the fuck is anybody supposed to tell what is jailbait anymore? Hell these kids are 13 going on 24!". I doubt very seriously even the bouncers at the bar would have thought twice if one of them showed a fake ID. It is just nuts!

    I don't know if it is the BPA in TFA, but we need to seriously be doing blood tests on these kids, because something screwy is going on. All the boys look like little kids and all the girls look like they are in their 3rd year of college. When I was a kid in the 70s it was the boys that started bulking up and getting hair while the girls were 9 times out of 10 flat as a pancake until they hit mid teens, now it seems just the opposite.

    so I don't know if it is BPA, hormones in the meat, what it is, but some serious testing needs to be going down, because little bitty girls shouldn't have C cups and J-Lo butts! All I can say is I'm glad I've got two boys, because if I was those girl's fathers I'd be crazy with worry.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen