||Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00
Aug 26 (foodconsumer.org) - A chemical widely used in plastic bottles and other household products may participate in development of breast cancer, researchers found.
The study, published in n the journal Chemistry & Biology found that high concentration of bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like chemical, stimulates cancer cells.
Experts thought earlier that this chemical may be harmless after it is chemically modified in the body into bisphenol sulfate, but the new study suggested that even chemically modified chemical of bisphenol A can be harmful.
Bisphenol A is widely used in the manufacture of food containers, CDs and DVDs, car parts and dental sealants among others.
Early studies suggested BPA can be released from BPA-containing products and may be absorbed at low concentrations into the body. The current study found that BPA can be picked by the breast cancer cells, indicating that the chemical may have something to do with the cancer development.
Dr. Theodore Widlanski and colleagues, authors of the study, from Indiana University and the University of California found that modified bisphenol A stimulates cancer cells and the modified BPA can be converted by the enzymes in the breast cancer cells back to BPA, which can be picked by the cancer cells.
However, Dr. Widlanski was quoted as saying by Irish Health “we have only demonstrated a possible mechanism that explains what people have been speculating about for years," cited by Irish Health. Dr. Widlanski suggested the results should be interpreted with caution.
Dr. Widlanski said even if bisphenol A participates in the breast cancer development, other chemicals would also take part in the process in combination with BPA.
David Phillips from Cancer Research UK, a company that often downplays the risk of environmental pollutants, was quoted as saying "They have shown how BPA could be taken up and processed by cancer cells, but the study has not shown any human cancer risk from this level of exposure."
Breast cancer strikes more than 200,000 American women annually.
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