Your Health

Is a Chemical in Plastic Bottles a Hazard to Humans?

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For more information on potentially hazardous effects of chemicals on human reproduction and development, see the National Toxicology Program's Web site. The full report on the plastics chemicals will be posted this fall.

See that water bottle on your desk, or in your cup holder, or in your baby's stroller? Is there a chemical in it that's hazardous to your health?

If it's a clear, hard, polycarbonate plastic bottle, it might contain a compound called bisphenol A, also known as BPA. It can act as a synthetic estrogen, and it has been the subject of debate.

Does BPA leach into your drink, and if so, is it harmful?

A panel convened by the National Institutes of Health has now looked at research, with an eye toward the safety of pregnant women and young children.

Jane Adams, a neurodevelopmental toxicologist who was on the National Toxicology Program panel, says the panel discounted a number of worries but that the animal studies did raise some concern about the neural and behavioral effects of BPA.

Adams talks with Andrea Seabrook.



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