Booster Shots

Oddities, musings and news from the health world

« Previous Post | Booster Shots Home | Next Post »

If bisphenol A is in your water, it's probably in your urine

May 21, 2009 |  7:01 pm

FaucetThose hard plastic bottles made of polycarbonate -- convenient and inexpensive -- do apparently let the controversial chemical bisphenol A leach out into the liquids being held, that much seems fairly clear.

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health decided to test the connection between the containers' use and urinary concentrations of bisphenol A, or BPA. For a week, 77 students participated in a "washout phase" in which they quaffed their cold beverages from stainless steel bottles. They then took part in the hard-core phase of the study in which they quaffed their beverages from polycarbonate bottles.

Urine samples were tested before the polycarbonate phase and afterward. Yep, the stuff showed up. And how. BPA concentrations rose 69% after the polycarbonate-container week.

The researchers wrote:

"Despite within-person variability resulting from other sources of BPA exposure, a measurable increase in urinary BPA resulted from only one week of exposure to beverages contained in polycarbonate bottles. Replication of this study in other populations may help to inform public health policy regarding the use of BPA in polycarbonate food and beverage containers."

Of course, what effect such exposure could have on long-term health is still the subject of considerable debate. And study.

Here's the easy-to-digest Harvard School of Public Health news release.

And here's the full study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: What you use to hold this stuff could affect the chemical makeup of your urine; the other potential effects are still being studied.

Credit: Los Angeles Times