Gender bending chemical found in tin cans, sunglasses and shop receipts could cause potentially lethal clogging of arteries, suggests research by experts from Exeter University and its Peninsula Medical School. Bisphenol A is a building-block of many commonly-used plastics and its higher levels cause narrowing of the arteries.
Arteries provide the heart with oxygenated blood. Bisphenol A is illustrated as a gender-bending chemical because it is a manmade edition of the female sex hormone oestrogen. It is has recently been banned from babies’ bottles but it is still used in a host of everyday plastic items, including cutlery, CD cases and sunglasses.
A team led by Prof David Melzer, carried out a study in which urine samples of almost six hundred men and women were collected and the health of their coronary arteries was measured. They found nearly four hundred people have severe narrowing of the arteries, eight-six had moderate artery disease and one-hundred-twenty had normal coronary arteries.
The analysis of the blood samples of study participants showed that, on average, bisphenol A levels were almost twenty percent higher in those whose coronary arteries were badly clogged. Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer, claiming thousands of lives each year by triggering heart attacks and other problems.
Lead author Prof Melzer , explained their latest study suggests a growing body of work which suggests that bisphenol A may be adding to known risk factors of heart disease. However, definitive proof will be hard to obtain, as it would be unethical to do the required experiments on people.
These findings are significant because they provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the association between bisphenol A and heart disease, stated , Prof Tamara Galloway, the lead toxicologist on the study. The study was published in the journal PLoS ONE.