BPA Worry Grows
New study ties chemical to low sperm counts.
A big push in recent years has taken the chemical BPA out of nearly every baby bottle, pacifier and food container after animal studies suggested it increases the risk for health problems in kids.
Now new research shows the negative effects linked to BPA pop up before baby arrives and may determine whether hopeful parents even take that trip to the baby store.
"Where there is a detectable level of BPA in urine, we found that men were two to four times more likely to have a reduced sperm count and reduced sperm vitality," says Kaiser Permanente's Kathy Gerwig.
Researchers at Kaiser Permanente studied over 200 Chinese factory workers who were exposed to high levels of BPA, as well as men not exposed to the chemical at work.
While the risk was higher among those who worked in the factory, even men with low exposure - which would be similar to levels of men in the United States - were affected.
"It provides clear evidence that BPA interferes with the human male reproductive system," Gerwig says.
A prepared statement from the American Chemistry Council points out the changes in sperm may not affect fertility, and that several studies have shown low doses of BPA are not a risk to human health.
Officials at the Food and Drug administration have a different view.
They say BPA causes some reason for concern.
They are currently looking through all the latest research and now have a new human study to add to the mix.