Thursday, November 12, 2009

The plastic menace

From the AUA Daily Scope

"BPA-exposed Chinese factory workers four times as likely to suffer from ED.

The Washington Post (11/11, Layton) reports, "Exposure to high levels of a controversial chemical found in thousands of everyday plastic products appears to cause erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in men," according to a paper in Human Reproduction. The study of "634 [BPA-exposed] male workers at four factories in China," showed that participants "were four times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and seven times as likely to have difficulty with ejaculation." What's more, "sexual dysfunction began in new workers after just months on the job."

Participants were also "about four times as likely to report low sex drive or low satisfaction with their sex lives," the AP (11/11, Ritter) reports. But, Steven Hentges, a BPA expert and official with the American Chemistry Council, commented that "the work is 'probably not very relevant for consumers," adding that "the workers inhaled BPA or got it on their skin," while "consumers get it through diet." "

This is another piece of evidence in the growing body of knowledge regarding environmental toxicants.  Plastics have become ubiquitous.  Just try to go one day without consuming anything that has not come into contact with plastic.  I bet you can't do it.

BPA has been shown to be linked to a host of human diseases, from cancer to infertility and is a compound in many of our plastics.  Until recently it was present in baby bottles. 

We think of plastics in our everyday materials as inert.  I drink from plastic bottles every day.  So do my three children.  Kind of scary isn't it. 

Dr Schoor