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New study: BPA exposure increases risk of heart and kidney disease in kids

by Terri Gruca

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE


Posted on January 10, 2013 at 11:25 PM

A new study finds elevated levels of BPA in children increase the risk of heart and kidney disease.

BPA or Bisphenol A is widely used in all kinds of products, from plastic bottles to aluminum food cans. It has been banned in baby bottles. However my KVUE Defenders Investigation last year found there is evidence that even products that have removed BPA still contain estrogen producing chemicals.

In this new study, New York University School of Medicine researchers analyzed data from more than 700 children between the ages of 6 and 19.

They found by age 6, nearly 92 percent of children in the United States have some trace of BPA in their urine.

They also discovered “children with the highest levels of BPA in their urine had a higher albumin-to-creatinine ratio than those with the lowest BPA levels. A higher albumin-to-creatinine ratio can be an early marker of kidney damage and future risk of heart disease,” the researchers said.

"While our cross-sectional study cannot definitively confirm that BPA contributes to heart disease or kidney dysfunction in children, together with our previous study of BPA and obesity, this new data adds to already existing concerns about BPA as a contributor to cardiovascular risk in children and adolescents," study co-lead author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health, said in a news release from the NYU School of Medicine.

"It further supports the call to limit exposure of BPA in this country, especially in children," Trasande added. "Removing it from aluminum cans is probably one of the best ways we can limit exposure. There are alternatives that manufacturers can use to line aluminum cans."

The American Chemistry Council argues the study lacks sufficient evidence.

“This study is inherently and fundamentally limited due to its reliance on single BPA exposure samples collected after the development of health effects. This type of analysis is incapable of establishing any meaningful connection between BPA and any chronic disease because it cannot establish any cause-and-effect relationship.

“The authors themselves state that: ‘our cross-sectional study cannot definitely confirm that BPA contributes to heart disease or kidney dysfunction in children,’ and they note the need for further research. Importantly, the study did not actually measure any effects on the heart or kidneys but only speculates about such effects. As stated by the authors: ‘[the] pediatric patients in our study had no demonstrable evidence of CKD [chronic kidney disease]’.

The Council points to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency which continue to study the issue. These agencies have not determined BPA is unsafe, however they do provide tips on how to minimize your exposure.