Quantcast
Health

BPA Could Harm Developing Hearts, Research Suggests

One of the major health concerns associated with the widespread use of plastics is exposure to bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it mimics the effects of estrogen on the body and has been linked to the growth of tumors in the breast, uterus and prostate, impacts on pregnancy and fertility and disruption of the sexual development of the fetus that can cause cancer later in life.


Now, a new study indicates that BPA might also have a negative impact on the developing hearts of children.

According to a press release for the study published Monday in Phys.org, 8 million pounds of BPA are produced every year, and 90 percent of the population interacts with it through consumer or medical goods.

BPA is commonly found in plastic bottles and the lining of canned food and has been known to leach into groundwater from landfills. Plastics have also increasingly been used in medical devices, the press release noted.

The study, published May 9 in Scientific Reports, looked at the impact of BPA exposure on neonatal rat heart cells. It found exposure could lead to a lower heart rate, irregular cardiac rhythms and calcium instabilities that can increase skipped heart beats.

The study comes after other studies have found that BPA exposure is associated with abnormal heart beats, chest pain and coronary artery disease in adults.

"Current research explores the impact endocrine disruptors, specifically BPA, have on adults and their cardiovascular and kidney function," study co-author and Children's National Heart Institute and George Washington University Assistant Professor Nikki Gillum Posnack said in the press release.

"We know that once this chemical enters the body, it can be bioactive and therefore can influence how heart cells function. This is the first study to look at the impact BPA exposure can have on heart cells that are still developing."

More research is needed to determine the impacts of long-term BPA exposure on developing hearts, but this study simulated the amount of time children might be exposed to BPA in emergency care scenarios, since many medical professionals use plastics in treating young patients with cardiac or immune problems.

"We're exploring the potential—and inadvertent risk of plastic medical devices, which have revolutionized the medical field," Posnack said. "We're investigating whether these hospital-based exposures may cause unintended effects on cardiac function and looking at ways to mitigate chemical exposure. We hope this preliminary research incentivizes the development of alternative products by medical device manufacturers and encourages the research community to study the impact of plastics on sensitive patient populations," she said.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Renewable Energy
A prototype of GE's massive new wind turbine will be installed in the industrial area of Maasvlakte 2 in Rotterdam. GE Renewable Energy

World's Largest Wind Turbine to Test Its Wings in Rotterdam

Rotterdam's skyline will soon feature the world's largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine.

GE Renewable Energy announced on Wednesday it will install the first 12-megawatt Haliade-X prototype in the Dutch city this summer. Although it's an offshore wind turbine by design, the prototype will be installed onshore to facilitate access for testing.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights/Opinion
Colorful, fresh organic vegetables. fcafotodigital / Getty Images

A New Diet for the Planet

By Tim Radford

An international panel of health scientists and climate researchers has prescribed a new diet for the planet: more vegetables, less meat, fresh fruit, whole grains and pulses, give up sugar, waste less and keep counting the calories.

And if 200 nations accept the diagnosis and follow doctor's orders, tomorrow's farmers may be able to feed 10 billion people comfortably by 2050, help contain climate change, and prevent 11 million premature deaths per year.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Children's books about the environment. U.S. Air Force photo / Karen Abeyasekere

This State Might Require Public Schools to Teach Climate Change

Reading, writing, arithmetic ... and climate science. That doesn't have the same ring as the "three Rs" of education, but Connecticut could one day require the subject to be on the curriculum, The Associated Press reported.

A Connecticut state lawmaker is pushing a bill to mandate the teaching of climate change in public schools throughout the state, starting in elementary school.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
NASA's ICESCAPE mission investigates the changing conditions in the Arctic. NASA / Kathryn Hansen

These Eye-Opening Memes Show the Real 10-Year Challenge

Before-and-after photos of your friends have probably taken over your Facebook and Instagram feeds, but environmentalists are using the #10YearChallenge to insert a dose of truth.

Memes of shrinking glaciers, emaciated polar bears and coral bleaching certainly subvert the feel-good viral sensation, but these jarring images really show our planet in a worrying state of flux.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Vial containing swab from a deceased duck, collected for testing during the 2014-2015 avian influenza outbreak. © 2015 Erica Cirino, used with permission.

Could Trump’s Government Shutdown Cause Outbreaks of Wildlife Disease?

By Erica Cirino

The current U.S. government shutdown could worsen ongoing wildlife disease outbreaks or even delay responses to new epidemics, according to federal insiders and outside experts who work with federal wildlife employees.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Vegan raw cheese from cashew nuts. byheaven/ iStock / Getty Images

Vegan Cheese: What’s the Best Dairy-Free Option?

By Ansley Hill, RD, LD

Cheese is one of the most beloved dairy products across the globe. In the U.S. alone, each person consumes more than 38 pounds (17 kg) of cheese per year, on average (1).

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights/Opinion
Sun setting behind the Fawley Oil Refinery in Fawley, England. Clive G' / CC BY-ND 2.0

Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe'

By Jessica Corbett

Ahead of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland next week—which convenes the world's wealthiest and most powerful for a summit that's been called both the "money Oscars" and a "threat to democracy"—the group published a report declaring, "Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe."

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Robusta coffee beans growing on a tree. Dag Sundberg / Getty Images

60% of Wild Coffee Species at Risk for Extinction

If humans don't wake up now to the threats posed by climate change and habitat loss, we may be in for a permanently sleepy future. A study led by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew found that 60 percent of wild coffee species are at risk for extinction.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!