Scientists find additive found in plastics harmful to women’s heart health

6/15/2009

CINCINNATI New research by a team of scientists at the University of Cincinnati released last week found that bisphenol A — an additive in many plastics — may be harmful for the heart, particularly in women. BPA, an environmental pollutant with estrogen activity, is used to make hard, clear plastic and is common in many food product containers. It has been linked to neurological defects, diabetes and breast and prostate cancers.

A research team led by Scott Belcher in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics found that exposure to BPA and/or estrogen caused abnormal activity in hearts of female rats and mice.

“Low doses of BPA markedly increased the frequency of arrhythmic events,” Belcher said. “The effect of BPA on these cardiac arrhythmias was amplified when exposed to estradiol, the major estrogen hormone in humans. These studies have identified new and important potential cardiac risks associated with BPA exposure that may be especially important for women’s heart health.”

Results of several studies were presented in Washington at ENDO 09, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, June 10 to 13.

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