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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Apr-08-07, 23:22
Samuel Samuel is offline
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Default Professor fights against plastic. Vom Saal says obesity linked to chemical.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007...0304News009.asp

Professor fights against plastic
Vom Saal says obesity linked to chemical.


By JACOB LUECKE of the Tribuneís staff
Published Sunday, March 4, 2007

Plastic companies use bisphenol-A to make a lot of things - food containers, water bottles and even baby bottles. But thereís only one thing Fredrick vom Saal would like the industry to do with it: Take it off the market.

Vom Saal, a biology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has studied bisphenol-A for more than a decade. The chemical is essentially a female sex hormone similar to estrogen. Plastic companies have long used it to make rigid, clear containers, many of which are used for food.

"This is one of the highest-volume produced chemicals in the world. Itís in everybodyís bodies, and itís a very potent sex hormone," he said. "Itís just nuts that itís being used the way it is."

Vom Saalís research, which includes testing the chemical on lab mice, has shown a variety of ill effects. For example, embryonic and infant mice exposed to small amounts bisphenol-A tend to become obese as adults. He surmises the same chemical could be behind the current rise in human obesity.

"When is the obesity epidemic occurring? Over the last couple decades," he said. "Over the last couple of decades youíve have over a fourfold increase in bisphenol-A production and use. If you look at the increase in obesity and increase in bisphenol-A use, they absolutely line up."

Although the research started in Columbia, vom Saal said there have been hundreds of studies worldwide documenting the effects of bisphenol-A. He said seven studies have backed up the claim about the chemical causing obesity in rats.

"We published it, and itís been confirmed over and over and over again," said vom Saal.

In male mice, the chemical can also caused increased prostate size, decreased sperm production and increased aggression, according to vom Saalís research.

The chemical industry, however, has shrugged off the studies.

"Government and scientific bodies around the world have reviewed the scientific evidence regarding safety of bisphenol-A, and reviewed it very carefully," said Steve Hentges, executive director of the Polycar-bonate/BPA Global Group of the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group.

"In every case," Hentges said, "they have come to the conclusion that bisphenol-A is not a risk to human health in particular from the very low levels of exposure that people might receive from use of consumer products."

Hentges contends individual studies showing harm from bisphenol-A are mitigated by other research.

"When you look at all the evidence together in what might be called a weight-of-evidence evaluation, you come away not particularly concerned," he said. "If you, on the other hand, look at single studies, you can get yourself very confused and come to conclusions that are quite inconsistent with the full scientific database."

Vom Saal contends the industryís position is off base, and heís fighting to get the government and others to recognize the hazards. Itís been slow going, he said, because government panels are regularly stacked with people from the plastics industry.

He believes that to convince the government to recognize the threat of bisphenol-A it will take more than studies on mice. Some of his new research focuses on how the chemical affects people.

"Until we show these effects on people, which is going to take another four to five years, itís going to be almost impossible to get regulatory agencies to do anything," he said.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reach Jacob Luecke at (573) 815-1713 or jluecke~tribmail.com.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Apr-08-07, 23:41
Samuel Samuel is offline
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Default Common plastic chemicals linked to obesity

Common plastic chemicals linked to obesity
Last Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2007

Phthalates, a class of chemicals used in some plastic food packaging and soaps, have been implicated in higher belly fat in men.
Phthalates are used to make plastic flexible, and are found in plastic tubes, some children's toys, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, lotions, lubricants, paint, pesticides, and other plastics.
The chemicals have been implicated in reproductive problems in men such as low sperm counts and low testosterone levels, and subtle changes in the reproductive organs of baby boys.
In a new study to be published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Dr. Richard Stahlhut of the University of Rochester Medical Center and his team looked at the connection between phthalates and testosterone.
The researchers wanted to test the idea that phthalates may be linked to obesity, since low testosterone levels appear to cause abdominal obesity and pre-diabetes in men.
"Substantial declines in testosterone levels and sperm quality have been observed in the United States and other countries over the last several decades Ö and it urgently requires explanation," Stahlhut said.
"While we can't say yet that phthalates are a definite cause, I am certain they are on the list of chemicals that demands careful study."
Exposure could contribute to insulin resistance: study
The team analyzed urine and blood samples from a national cross-section of men in the U.S. from 1999 to 2002. They looked at data on phthalate exposure, obesity, waist circumference, fasting glucose and insulin levels for 651 men.
Men with the highest levels of phthalates in their urine had more belly fat and insulin resistance, after adjusting for other factors that could affect the results. In insulin resistance, the body is less able to use insulin to control blood sugar levels, a condition that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
"If confirmed by longitudinal studies, our findings would suggest that exposure to these phthalates may contribute to the population burden of obesity, insulin resistance, and related clinical disorders," the study's authors concluded.
More than 75 per cent of the U.S. population had measurable levels of several phthalates in their urine, the researchers found.
Researchers do not know what combinations of common low-dose exposures to phthalates may be contributing to reproductive problems, Stahlhut said, but long-term data on hormone levels is needed to investigate the possible link.
Phthalates are among the 69 known contaminants that Statistics Canada is testing 5,000 Canadians for as part of a comprehensive survey announced last year.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 00:07
JL53563's Avatar
JL53563 JL53563 is offline
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Quote:
Phthalates

If I can't pronounce it, it can't be good.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 14:50
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Hmmm...is it the packaging or what the package contains?
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 16:52
Samuel Samuel is offline
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Default Diabetes from a Plastic? Estrogen mimic provokes insulin resistance

Diabetes from a Plastic? Estrogen mimic provokes insulin resistance
Ben Harder

Exposure to small amounts of an ingredient in polycarbonate plastic may increase a person's risk of diabetes, according to a new study in mice.
The synthetic chemical called bisphenol-A is used to make dental sealants, sturdy microwavable plastics, linings for metal food-and-beverage containers, baby bottles, and numerous other products. When consumed, the chemical can mimic the effects of estrogen. Previous tests had found that bisphenol-A can leach into food and water and that it's widely prevalent in human blood.
The newfound contribution of the chemical to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, might partially explain the global epidemic of that disease, says Angel Nadal of Miguel HernŠndez University of Elche in Spain, who led the new study.

The finding is a "wake-up call" for public health researchers who are concerned by the prevalence of diabetes, comments developmental biologist Frederick vom Saal of the University of MissouriĖColumbia.
Earlier test-tube studies had suggested that bisphenol-A makes pancreatic cells secrete the glucose-regulating hormone insulin. To investigate this effect in live animals, Nadal and his colleagues injected adult male mice with pure corn oil or with oil containing either bisphenol-A or an equal amount of the natural female sex hormone estradiol. Animals received as many as eight shots over 4 days.

Within 30 minutes of an injection, animals receiving either the sex hormone or bisphenol-A had abnormally low concentrations of glucose in their blood, Nadal's team reports in the January Environmental Health Perspectives. The chemicals acted on recently discovered estrogen receptors on pancreatic cells' surfaces to boost the cells' secretion of insulin, the researchers determined.

Repeated exposure to either bisphenol-A or the natural estrogen over several days produced insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic state in which tissues lose their sensitivity to normal concentrations of insulin, Nadal's group says. Estrogen receptors in the pancreatic-cell nucleus appear to contribute to this gradual effect.

So, receptors both in the cell nucleus and on the surface could contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes, Nadal says.
This risk could add to or elucidate already documented health effects of bisphenol-A. Animal studies have suggested that exposure to the chemical early in life causes obesity, says Ana M. Soto of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Furthermore, bisphenol-A exposure might contribute to gestational diabetes in women, in whom insulin resistance often increases during pregnancy, says Jerry Heindel of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Inside cells' nuclei, bisphenol-A is less potent than the natural sex hormone, says vom Saal. But the new work shows that at the surface of pancreatic cells, the compounds have the same potency, he notes. Doses of bisphenol-A considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no adverse effect led to insulin resistance in the mouse study.
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 17:12
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Kandra Kandra is offline
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When plastic heats up it outgasses these toxic chemicals into your food. I got rid of my Tupperware and all plastic because of that. I always feel bad for people who aren't aware of this when I see them use plastic containers to nuke food in. They've linked Phthalates (thal-ates JL53563 ) to several cancers, birth defects and lowered sperm count. I can't believe the stuff is still on the market. It's the cheap way to make plastic, but toxic. I've been noticing the plastic industry doing PR ads saying how we couldn't live without it, what they don't say is that it could be made from crops like corn and not petroleum and we wouldn't get the nasty stuff like Phthalates...
---------->steps off soap box. Can you tell I used to work in Environmental Medicine?
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 17:21
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JL53563 JL53563 is offline
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Quote:
They've linked Phthalates (thal-ates JL53563 )

Thanks. I appreciate it. A silent ph, how unusual.
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  #8   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 17:26
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Quote:
When plastic heats up it outgasses these toxic chemicals into your food.


http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cookplastic.asp
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  #9   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 17:27
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popeye_w popeye_w is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandra
When plastic heats up it outgasses these toxic chemicals into your food. I got rid of my Tupperware and all plastic because of that. I always feel bad for people who aren't aware of this when I see them use plastic containers to nuke food in. They've linked Phthalates (thal-ates JL53563 ) to several cancers, birth defects and lowered sperm count. I can't believe the stuff is still on the market. It's the cheap way to make plastic, but toxic. I've been noticing the plastic industry doing PR ads saying how we couldn't live without it, what they don't say is that it could be made from crops like corn and not petroleum and we wouldn't get the nasty stuff like Phthalates...
---------->steps off soap box. Can you tell I used to work in Environmental Medicine?


ok are ALL plastics made with Phthalates? I've heard about not letting your plastic wrap touch your food in the nuker... so I've quit doing that and now just use a papertowel.
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  #10   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 17:53
Kandra's Avatar
Kandra Kandra is offline
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No Popeye, not all plastics: http://wwf.ca/satellite/reduce-risk/questionable.html

When plastic is burned one of the chemicals it releases is dioxin. Just like you could make the argument that chorine bleach has no dioxin in it. But when it breaks down it also releases dioxin. How is this possible? It's because of chemical reactions in the material itself when exposed to high heat and in some cases sunlight. There are over 250 types of dioxin and its is considered one of the most toxic substances on the planet.

Industry often uses the argument that is sited on Snoops to confuse people into thinking that their product isn't harmful. You'll see a flurry of activity on industry's part whenever a new study show toxicity or someone get face time in the media citing a study that points a finger at plastic.

If you look at how a chemical goes to market in the US and how hard it is to remove one once in the market, you can see how we're not well protected from many of these hazards. Industry has more say than environmental agencies (EPA,et al) currently the heads are appointed by each admin. and they are generally from industry. Money talks.

Also, snoops and a couple of those other sites all use industry 'research' only and leave out academic and government studies. So now I don't even use them for the silly urban legend stuff because they are so biased that I don't trust them.

In some countries industry cannot use soft plastics on high fat content food due to the leaching of chemicals.

Last edited by Kandra : Tue, Apr-10-07 at 11:49.
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  #11   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 17:55
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bsenka bsenka is offline
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Poison experts attack 'hysteria' over chemicals

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_n...1572700,00.html

Quote:
Most chemicals were found at a fraction of a part per billion. There is no evidence such concentrations pose any threat to people's health. This is irresponsible, hysterical scaremongering.


Calories, not Chemicals, Make us Fat

http://www.fumento.com/fat/obesity2007.html

Quote:
the presence of BPA in polycarbonate bottles poses no health risk to babies and infants during normal use.


Why You Should Ignore the Baby Bottle Scare

http://www.quackwatch.org/04Consume...babybottle.html

Quote:
Unless you can replicate something, you can't interpret its significance. . . . Our conclusion is that we should go with the track record. We have evaluated [food contact uses of bisphenol A] in a thorough manner and concluded its use is safe. We haven't seen anything that would persuade us to change that.
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  #12   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 18:01
Kandra's Avatar
Kandra Kandra is offline
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Benska just made my case for the industry's tactic. Look at who is starting that false information on toxicity. It's like the tobacco industry, they confused the public with 'science' that in the end was nothing more than paid for PR to keep their product on the market.

I'm still at work, I'll reseach it and get you links to SCIENTIFIC studies that weren't paid for by industry. You have to follow the money trail to see who funded the study, it's not done in house because they want to use it like the tobacco cos did. Studies may be done at a university or private faucility but FUNDED by a specific chemical company under fire or lobby groups of the industry.
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Apr-09-07, 23:05
Kandra's Avatar
Kandra Kandra is offline
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Hi, sorry it's taken me so long to get this posted. It's tax time and I worked until 8pm then went to the gym, ate dinner and did a little research for you guys on the chemical in the articles that were posted.
Here's a couple and there's lots more. I'll list more if you want them, otherwise I'll just let you read over these so you can make an informed decision if you want to continue using plastics so frequently, or at all around your food and children.

http://www.jlr.org/cgi/content/abstract/43/5/676
"Bisphenol A in combination with insulin can accelerate the conversion of 3T3-L1 fibroblasts to adipocytes" The study outcome is that Bisphenol A (the original chemical we were talking about in this thread) is an edocrine disruptor and it increases body fat by fat cell hyperplasia (causes the body to grow more fat cells) and hypertrophy (causes existing fat cells to store more fat).

http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2003/5993/abstract.html
This study shows the Bisphenol A leaches from water bottles into water. They had to do this study because Bisphenol A is a powerful hormone disruptor and it would skew lab animal testing. They also tested the cages and they too were found to offgass the toxic chemical.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/dert/profi...007/bpa-ova.htm
Exposing fetuses to Bisphenol A at a level consistent with the average American (western culture) causes chromosomal abnormalities and other research shows it affects behavior, most noted are novelty seeking and impulse behavior.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/oc/news/sealant.htm
The typical argument once industry admits to the toxicity in the face of overwhelming science, is 'well the dose is too small to really cause any harm.'
This is a notice sent out in 1997 that states, 'The UM-C scientists said the chemical's estrogen-like effect "appears at much lower doses than previously thought" and "lies within the range of current human exposure."

Okay friends, this has been fun, but it's now 11 pm and I'm off to get some sleep. Let me know if you want more. Oh, shoot I forgot to find the original research on that chemcial causing insulin resistance. Something all diabetics and prediabetics like myself should be interested in.

Thanks for the articles Samual and thanks to everyone for this interesting thread.
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Apr-10-07, 08:39
Dodger's Avatar
Dodger Dodger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popeye_w
ok are ALL plastics made with Phthalates? I've heard about not letting your plastic wrap touch your food in the nuker... so I've quit doing that and now just use a papertowel.
You don't want to know what is in paper towels.
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Apr-10-07, 08:43
Kandra's Avatar
Kandra Kandra is offline
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Plan: South Beach Phase II
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Hi Mike,
I just use a bowl or plate and invert a plate on top to hold down the splatters. I also store leftovers in the fridge this way if they will only be in there a very short time if the leftovers will spend more time in the fridge I use mason jars or reuse glass jars from food.
Also, there's paper towels by Seventh Generation and a couple of other companies that are at least bleach and dye free.
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