Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a chemical that is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics since the 1960s. Currently it is used in a variety of plastic food storage containers from plastic milk jugs to the inner lining of canned foods and the inner lid of baby food jars. BPA is a chemical substance used for hardening and strengthening plastic.
There is much research data available that demonstrates the pervasiveness of human exposure to BPA and to the affects on human heath. United Press International published an article Aug. 16, 2010 revealing that blood and urine analysis performed by the Canadian Health Measures Survey of a representative sample of Canadian citizens revealed that 91 percent of those tested ages 6 to 70 years of age tested positively for BPA in their bodies.
Research performed by a team from the University of Michigan investigated the effects of BPA exposure to sperm DNA damage and semen quality. Until this study, performed at an infertility clinic for men, research on BPA’s effects on sperm and semen had only been done in animals. Research conclusions showed that as BPA increased in a man’s urine, his sperm quality decreased and there was an increase in DNA damage.
In another study conducted to demonstrate the effects of bisphenol-A in humans, researchers from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute studied self-reported male sexual dysfunction in workers exposed to the chemical in the workplace. Study authors compared the reported sexual dysfunctions of the exposed workers to that of the general male population. Study conclusions were that the men exposed to BPA in the workplace reported “significantly higher” episodes of sexual dysfunction including lower libido and erectile dysfunction.
In a related article by United Press International, lead study author Dr. De-Kun Li stated that even men who experienced BPA exposure only environmentally–and with lower BPA concentrations than the average American–experienced increased risk of sexual dysfunction.
Other research points to the increase of feminine qualities in fish exposed to BPA and other evidence suggesting that bisphenol-A is indeed a endocrine disruptor.
Sources: “BPA Found in 91 Percent of Canadians,” United Press International, Aug 16, 2010.
“Semen Quality and Sperm DNA Damage in Relation to Urinary Bisphenol A Among Men from an Infertility Clinic,” Reproductive Toxicology, John Meeker et al, July 23, 2010.
“Occupational Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) and the Risk of Self-Reported Male Sexual Dysfunction,” Human Reproduction, De-Kun Li, M.D. et al, Feb 25, 2010.
“BPA, Erectile Dysfunction Linked,” United Press International, May 28, 2010