Bisphenol A: Dental fillings, ADHD and the fall of the American Empire

globeandmail.com: The other place bisphenol A lurks: our teeth

BPA is a hormone disruptor that can mimic estrogen, and some research has linked it to health consequences, including early puberty in girls, breast and prostate cancer, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

(Emphasis, mine.)

So besides the increasing freakiness of all the unexpected places that this BPA stuff is showing up (Dental Fillings? really? Well at least it should only be a problem for people who are old enough to have been bingeing on HFCS for long enough to get cavities.) But what really caught my eye was the ADHD mention.

It’s often been noted that the US seems to have a higher rate of ADD/ADHD than other countries, and this has variously been linked to: the mindset on the imigrants who make up the population (restless/ADHD people are more likely to move, thus the population has “self selected” for ADHD like traits) ; the over medicalization of the US population mindset (ie everything can be fixed with a drug even if it didn’t used to be a problem); among various others. But this raises the prospect that it might juts be that Americans are more exposed to various endocrine disruptors and other chemical products that have a relatively short history of existence and use.

We learned, from Rome, that lead pipes, while useful will eventually poison you. I wonder what lessons the rest of the world will learn once the US finishes poisoning it’s population (I’m still holding out hope that it will be clear enough to learn anything from in the end, though that seems increasingly unlikely. And besides, we’ve never been very good at keeping the mess in our own back yard, so there may well be no one left to learn the lesson.)

PS: Brita pitchers and filters etc are made of Polystyrene, not polycarbonate, so they are and have always been BPA free.


  • This is a great topic. What I know about polycarbonate and BPA is that for several years this issue has been studied by the government and private researchers. Most concur that BPA can disrupt the hormonal system but there is a wide difference of opinion between scientists as to whether or not a health risk is posed by the small amount of BPA that might migrate from a polycarbonate container into whatever food or liquid the polycarbonate contains.
    So I understand the concern for most people, but why has the controversy resurfaced now?

  • The big deal now seems to be that Health Canada has done some type of review of current science. While my understanding is that they did not find any well defined risk, they did find that in some cases the levels might exceed those that were deemed safe. The real concern is with respect to the hard plastic bottles which are used for infant milk formula. Which release a “surge” of BPA when heated or filled with warm formula.
    I suppose I could go on but then it’ll just turn into a rant and I’m not able to do the research that I would need to to back up all the odds and ends that I would bring up.
    So as an alternative, here’s the Health Canada release that “started it all.”

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