Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chemical exposure a growing concern among researchers

BPA in baby bottles is one way of exposure for infants.
The industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has been the subject of many studies lately – and the findings have researchers ringing the alarm bells.

The estrogen mimicking chemical was widely used in hard-plastic baby bottles, water bottles and the lining in food and beverage cans, and its widespread use since the 1960 means people have been exposed to it for a long time at low levels.

A 2010 report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.

Canada was the first country to ban BPA use in baby bottles, and several U.S. states have followed suit.

Behavioral issues and BPA exposure

In an ongoing study funded by the National Institutes of Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers are examining the effects of low level exposures on young children.

They assessed the exposure to BPA by taking urine samples from mothers during the pregnancy and from the children at ages 1, 2 and 3. They then assessed the children’s behavior and executive function according to accepted scales.

The researchers found an association between levels of BPA concentrations during pregnancy and neurobehavioral measures at age 3. The children had higher risk of anxiety, hyperactivity, emotional control and behavioral inhibition.

The researchers were quick to say that there are limitations to the study, including a small sample size, and that the clinical relevance of these findings is unclear at this point.

Still, they advised doctors to tell concerned patients to reduce their exposure to the chemical.

The chemical industry, on the other hand, questions the study’s relevancy and says that realistic exposure levels should not pose a risk because of the way the chemical is processed in the body.

Source: Psychiatric News/ American Psychiatric Association

Chemical exposure at home and at the office

Whether it’s during pregnancy or in everyday life – we are unwillingly exposed to a wide variety of chemicals emitted by common household products and building materials.

Experts are worried that even low level exposures over a long period of time can lead to serious health consequences.

Reducing the level of exposure is important, by choosing more natural products over chemical-laden ones, making sure the home is well ventilated and running an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA.

The filtration combination of carbon + HEPA can help remove indoor air contaminants such as chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and molds.

With general purpose air purifiers and specialized air purifiers for MCS, mold, tobacco smoke, volcanic smog, allergies and asthma as well as chemical and odor control, you can be sure to find the right air purifier for your specific concerns.

Contact AllerAir for more information and recommendations.