New research suggests yet another potential health risk posed by the ubiquitous plastics chemical bisphenol A: dental damage.
French scientists have found BPA damaged the teeth of rats treated with low daily doses of the chemical compound, used in the manufacture of food containers, bottles, drinks cans, food tins, and other products. The findings add to recent studies that have shown the industrial compound — found in human blood, urine, and other bodily fluids — can have adverse effects on the reproduction, development, and metabolism of laboratory animals and may have similar effects on humans.
In 2011, Europe banned the manufacture of babies' bottles containing BPA. The ban will extend to all food containers in France in July 2015.
The new study, conducted by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, found the enamel of the teeth of rats treated with low daily doses of BPA were damaged — a condition that can produce hypersensitivity and pain.
Researcher Sylvie Babajko said the finding suggests tooth enamel damage may one day be used to gauge exposure to BPA and similar chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors.
"Insofar as BPA has the same mechanism of action in rats as in men … teeth could be used as early markers of exposure to endocrine disruptors acting in the same way as BPA and so could help in early detection of serious pathologies that would otherwise have occurred several years later," Babajko said.
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