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Scientists find possible link between BPA and breast cancer

More than 90% of Americans have BPA in their bodies, researchers say.

Hazel Bender, Pentagon Post, Oct 9, 2013

Breast cancers are becoming common now-a-days. Thanks to hectic lifestyles and no mammograms. Amid this critical situation, health experts have suggested a possible link between the estrogen-like chemical BPA and breast cancer.

The chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, has been under the scanner of health experts. The consumer's concerns, moreover, have led manufacturers to remove it from baby bottles and infant formula packaging.

According to a September report from, an advocacy group 'Breast Cancer Fund;, BPA could pose a risk to children long before they take their first sip of milk. Moreover, babies also are exposed in the womb.

The report was prepared after analyzing 60 animal and human studies, which link prenatal BPA exposure to an increased risk of a variety of health problems ranging from breast cancer and prostate cancer to fertility woes, early puberty, neurological problems and immune system changes.

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More than 90% of American have BPA in their bodies, researchers say. Ten studies have found BPA in fetal tissue, including umbilical cord blood, as well as in amniotic fluid, the Breast Cancer Fund report underlines.

"A developing fetus is especially vulnerable during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy," says co-author Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science at the Breast Cancer Fund, adding, "Everything is being developed" at this stage. The building blocks are being laid down for future health."

What experts say

In 2011, the American Medical Association termed BPA an “endocrine-disrupting agent” because of evidence suggesting that it disrupts the body’s normal hormonal regulation.

In 2009, a group of doctors and researchers specializing in the hormonal system at the Endocrine Society called hormone-disrupting chemicals such as BPA a “significant concern for public health,” possibly causing severe diseases like infertility, cancer and malformations.

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Tufts University’s Ana Soto says it’s possible that prenatal BPA exposure makes fetuses more sensitive to estrogen, a hormone that drives the growth of most breast cancers. Hence, BPA could indirectly increase the risk of breast cancer later in life.

BPA was developed in the 1930s as an estrogen-replacement therapy. Researchers stopped developing BPA as an estrogen, however, because another synthetic hormone, DES, or diethylstilbestrol, was far more potent.

The Food and Drug Administration’s official statement on BPA says that it is “safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review by FDA scientists of hundreds of studies including the latest findings from new studies initiated by the agency.”

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