Researchers find Bisphenol A from plastic bottles in oceans around the globe

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 31, 2013

Chemical From Plastic Water Bottles Found Throughout Oceans, by Brandon Keim

  • “A survey of 200 sites in 20 countries around the world has found that bisphenol A, a synthetic compound that mimics estrogen and is linked to developmental disorders, is ubiquitous in Earth’s oceans. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is found mostly in shatter-proof plastics and epoxy resins. Most people have trace amounts in their bodies, likely absorbed from food containers. Its hormone-mimicking properties make it a potent endocrine system disruptor. In recent years, scientists have moved from studying BPA’s damaging effects in laboratory animals to linking it to heart disease, sterility and altered childhood development in humans. Many questions still remain about dosage effects and the full nature of those links, but in January the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that “recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.” The oceanic BPA survey, presented March 23 at an American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, was conducted by Nihon University chemists Katsuhiko Saido and Hideto Sato. At an ACS meeting last year, they described how soft plastic in seawater doesn’t just float or sink intact, but can break down rapidly, releasing toxins. In their new findings, they showed that BPA-containing hard plastics can break down too, and found BPA in ocean water and sand at concentrations ranging from .01 to .50 parts per million.”
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