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A variety of polycarbonate bottles, including the popular Nalgene shatter-free bottles contain the chemical bisphenol A. In sufficient quanitities the chemical is believed to disrupt hormones, but the FDA concludes in an early report that the levels in plastics are low enough not to be harmful.
FDA continues its insistence that the plastic is safe, says its studies on mice more accurate than recent human study

Last month, DailyTech reported that in a preliminary review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had declared the plastic Nalgene safe.  While Nalgene and other products contain the hardening agent bisphenol A (BPA), a known disruptive agent of human physiology, the FDA concluded that sufficient quantities of the chemical did not leach into the liquids stored inside the bottles to cause harm.  Critics blasted the ruling, pointing out that studies have indicated that small, but significant quantities did leach into the water.

Now the first major study on the effects of bisphenol A has been completed and it indicates a clear link between the compound and diabetes and heart disease.  In the study, researchers from Britain and the University of Iowa examined a U.S. government health survey of 1,455 adults who had given urine samples.  The adults were then split into different groups based on the levels of BPA found in their urine.  All the adults were within the "safe" levels of BPA, according to the FDA's standards.

The study discovered that in the highest BPA group there were more than twice as many people with diabetes and heart disease.  No correlation between BPA and cancer was shown.

While the study certainly seems to indicate a clear link between BPA and these diseases, it raises a chicken and egg sort of debate.  If the findings hold true in additional tests, there are two possibilities.  One possibility is that the disease came first and somehow raised the body’s absorption of BPA.  The other possibility is that the BPA came first and somehow interact with the patients' bodies, putting them at higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Despite the fact that the largest study to date now suggests a link between "safe" BPA levels and disease, the FDA is refusing to change its stance.  In a scientific review the FDA declared that BPA is "safe" within suggested guidelines.  Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA's office of food additive safety, states, "Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it's safe, so we're not recommending any change in habits."

Tarantino says that if customers want to voluntarily avoid the chemical; that is their decision.  She says that bottles bearing the recycling symbol 7 are BPA-containing, and that heating food in these containers helps to release the BPA.

Ms. Tarantino and the FDA also argued that the agency's own studies on mice were more thorough and extensive than the recent human study.  The American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, agreed and was quick to blast the study, saying it was flawed, substantially limited, and "proved nothing".

Several states are restricting BPA use, and there is legislation that may soon ban BPA use in baby bottles in Canada.  On a national level in the U.S. and in the European Union, the government food and health agencies have suggested that the compound is safe.  The FDA has acknowledged in the past that its own studies indicate "some concern" of the possible effects of BPA exposure on the brain in fetuses, infants and children.  BPA is commonly used in baby bottles in the U.S. and EU.



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Scientific Method?
By invidious on 9/17/2008 9:52:50 AM , Rating: 5
Last time I checked scienced was cause and affect, not see an effect and guess a cause. People with high BPA geting sick more could be caused by a wide range of underlying problems.

People react differently to the same levels of exposure. Lets say you expose 1 million people to a teaspoon of a chemical over the course of a year and the 500 of their bodies show up with higher than usual quantities in their body. Why would you be suprised that those 500 are more prone to other illnesses? There is clearly something wrong with thier immune system.

If you want to know if a chemical kills live then you give it to a bunch of mice and see what happens. Just like the FDA did and has been doing for longer than I can recall.




RE: Scientific Method?
By invidious on 9/17/2008 9:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, morning grammar. Not my proudest post


RE: Scientific Method?
By AntiM on 9/17/2008 10:20:34 AM , Rating: 2
Why take a chance? Why risk a baby's health? Ban its use in baby bottles and everyone will be happy. Adults have the option to choose whether or not to use products that contain BPA... babies don't. There's evidence that's it's harmful, no "proof". Just like there's no "proof" that cigarettes cause cancer in *humans*. (we know it does in mice though).


RE: Scientific Method?
By MrTeal on 9/17/2008 10:31:03 AM , Rating: 3
Don't most baby bottle include disposable plastic liners inside a hard shell?


RE: Scientific Method?
By pattycake0147 on 9/17/2008 12:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
While most bottles do, there are some that don't. The ones with the liners are specifically designed for infants and can be used by older babies as well, but the ones without the liner are typically used with only older babies.


RE: Scientific Method?
By BansheeX on 9/17/2008 1:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.healthegoods.com/product/safe-best-baby...

If you're really concerned about chemicals leaching into your food/drink, get a stainless steel bottle. I have a sports one for working out, cleans better anyway. I'd avoid microwaving plastic as well, use ceramic or glass.


RE: Scientific Method?
By glennpratt on 9/18/2008 7:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
Just remember that many steel products, including water bottles and canned foods were/are lined with BPA.


RE: Scientific Method?
By cheetah2k on 9/18/2008 8:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
And stay away from Cling Wrap while we're at it. It also contains hormone disruptors, and should be used in moderation.

http://www.thegreenguide.com/docprint.mhtml?i=88-8...


RE: Scientific Method?
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 11:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
Why go outside? A plane might fall out of the sky and crush you. Granted that'd kill you if you're in your home too. Better start building that bomb shelter.

And there is proof cigarettes can cause cancer.


RE: Scientific Method?
By jimbojimbo on 9/17/2008 2:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
And quit breathing! There are toxins in the air!


RE: Scientific Method?
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 11:52:18 AM , Rating: 4
> "Why take a chance? Why risk a baby's health? "

Easy answer. Because in a sufficiently large dose, **every** chemical compound is dangerous-- ncluding millions we consume naturally on a daily basis.

Ban everything that has some sort of potential risk, no matter how small, and you ban. . . everything.


RE: Scientific Method?
By Schadenfroh on 9/17/2008 12:01:53 PM , Rating: 3
Indeed

So, feel free to drink 3 gallons of distilled water in about 5 minutes. So long as that distilled water is not in a PLASTIC bottle.


RE: Scientific Method?
By rcc on 9/17/2008 12:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So, feel free to drink 3 gallons of distilled water in about 5 minutes. So long as that distilled water is not in a PLASTIC bottle.


You are aware that the military, and athletes, have had this specific problem on hot days?? Even when consumed over a longer period of time?

The human body needs it's electrolytes and minerals. Drinking a large amount of water, particularly when perspiring heavily, lowers these levels dramatically resulting in dizzyness, severe illness, and even death.

http://usatf.org/groups/coaches/library/hydration/

http://www.boxingscene.com/aerobics-cardio/24343.p...

The plastic becomes the least of your problems.


RE: Scientific Method?
By Diesel Donkey on 9/17/2008 1:18:35 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The plastic becomes the least of your problems.


I think that was the OP's point.


RE: Scientific Method?
By Lord 666 on 9/17/2008 1:27:44 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Because in a sufficiently large dose, **every** chemical compound is dangerous-- ncluding millions we consume naturally on a daily basis


The disclosure of what really is a "safe" dosage or if a product contains a chemical in question is the issue. Hiding the potential risk, especially when it is used in products for children is demonstrating poor corporate social responsibility and is unethical. At least provide warning labels clearly indicating products contain BPA and not just going by if it has a #3 or #7 recycling label.

Warning labels on cigarettes - perfect caveat emptor. Nothing says it best by saying use of this product will cause death. Another good example is/was the saccharin warning labels.

Canada has a much better disclosure approach, even listing the amount of Nutrasweet in a can of Diet Pepsi.

From product liability perspective, if warning labels were used more often, wouldn't it reduce possible future tort claims?


RE: Scientific Method?
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 12:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
I for one will take the chance.. why? Because this study is inconclusive at best. Does it really surprise anyone that someone with diabetes which puts a huge amount of stress on your kidneys(you know those things that filter chemicals from your body) could allow a chemical to be more common in your system? Does it not also seem kind of suspect that we have already made the connection between heart disease , cholesterol and kidney failure? (which once again would explain the results)


RE: Scientific Method?
By RussianSensation on 9/17/2008 12:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
FDA can argue all it wants....all sports bottles and any bottles with 'questionable chemicals' related to the article above have been officially banned for sale in all of Ontario. When an official governmental body bans a product in a developed country with strict rules and regulations such as Canada, there is a serious cause for concern.


RE: Scientific Method?
By clovell on 9/17/2008 2:49:12 PM , Rating: 1
Ontario != Canada.

I could point out the rest of the silliness in the post, but meh.


RE: Scientific Method?
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 3:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
Funny you mention that, because it was actually banned in Canada for use in baby bottles.. not Ontario, our Premiere was just pushing it. And for those that wanted to know, you can still buy water bottles in ontario that contain BPA.

And how was his post silly?


RE: Scientific Method?
By clovell on 9/17/2008 3:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, see, I bit on the misinformation there.

Perhaps I misread, but I seemed to pick up on an implication that FDA isn't taking this seriously, and I think that's silly.

This was a post-hoc analysis of data collected from a study that was not designed to answer such a question. There doesn't seem to be a significant correlation, either.


RE: Scientific Method?
By menace on 9/19/2008 1:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
Correlation != Causation

Canada is pretty silly

It comes as no surprise a country with strict rules and regulations would ban something on a flimsy study. I'd be more concerned if a country with few rules and little regulation banned it.


RE: Scientific Method?
By rudolphna on 9/17/2008 12:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
because it is illegal to test on humans :)


RE: Scientific Method?
By theapparition on 9/17/2008 12:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
Why take a chance? Maybe because it's not necessary. Plastics, for all thier assumed ills, have provided levels of sanitary that trumps any "potential" problems.

For all our dangerous plastics, bad transfats, carcinogin sugar-substitutes, and bad pollution, and poisoned water supplies........fact is, life expectancies are still increasing.

Sound like you want a solution to a problem that isn't one.


RE: Scientific Method?
By Sanity on 9/17/2008 10:41:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want to know if a chemical kills live then you give it to a bunch of mice and see what happens. Just like the FDA did and has been doing for longer than I can recall.


Hmm...last time I checked, neither I nor anyone else I've met were mice.

Change that to death row inmates, and I'm right there with you.


RE: Scientific Method?
By jtemplin on 9/17/2008 11:27:31 AM , Rating: 4
Ok Dr. Josef Mengele...

Lets nominate you to Chairman of Medical Ethics.


RE: Scientific Method?
By Sanity on 9/17/2008 12:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ok! =)


RE: Scientific Method?
By menace on 9/19/2008 1:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
Vell you have a choice - take the chair or live for another veek and drink from this plastic bottle.

Vhat vill it be?


RE: Scientific Method?
By anonymo on 9/18/2008 7:48:28 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Hmm...last time I checked, neither I nor anyone else I've met were mice. Change that to death row inmates, and I'm right there with you.


Change that from death row inmates to vegetarians and I'm with you.

But seriously, if you can't understand why they use mice and how it relates to humans, I don't recommend posting here.


RE: Scientific Method?
By Sanity on 9/18/2008 9:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
I understand exactly why they use mice and how it relates to humans. And I also understand exactly how it doesn't. There are parts to both. And if you don't understand that, I'm sorry, I don't care. So I'm going to keep posting, but thanks for the advice!!


RE: Scientific Method?
By Strunf on 9/17/2008 11:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
"Last time I checked scienced was cause and affect, not see an effect and guess a cause."
Say that to the thousands scientist that have seen the effects of gravity and are still "guessing" the causes of it, and like gravity there are many other subjects that we know they exist but can't do much than guess why.

"People react differently to the same levels of exposure."
And what makes you think the mice don't... or who knows if the mice are in general more resistant than humans to BPA.


RE: Scientific Method?
By menace on 9/19/2008 1:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Here and I thought interaction between masses was the source of gravity. It was just a wild guess anyway.


RE: Scientific Method?
By guy007 on 9/17/2008 11:28:34 AM , Rating: 3
There are many different scientific studies. Some are cross sectional, others cohort and still others retrospective etc.

Scientific studies are not always cause and effect. Some studies hint at a correlations that are then further studied. It is very hard (often illegal) to do cause and effect studies in medicine (for example to expose someone to a potentially harmful drug and then see what happens). To do the experiments on animals you often have to have it approved by an ethics committee.

Also, a lot of adverse reactions in the body are not immune mediated. Many times it is metabolic (such as the cyp system, p450 etc). Your point of 500 ppl showing adverse reactions to some exposure definitely does not conclusively indicate anything about their immune system.

Although mice are often used first line to test chemicals. There are many differences between mice and people. For example when drug companies want to release a drug it is first tested in animals to establish safety doses but the final test before release to the general public is a test in humans. This is the gold standard to demonstrate that something is safe (and even then long term safety issues are often missed as you can see with drugs that are often pulled off the market like fen phen or bextra).

I would still not be so quick to use these bottles.


RE: Scientific Method?
By dragonbif on 9/17/2008 12:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
I find the human study to be a little low on the control. It’s fine to do this type of study for a first test but you really need to do the study with a control group and sometimes more then one. Also did the human tests have a family history of diabetes and heart disease? Last time I looked the number of diabetes and heart disease was going up in the US anyway with the high sugar intake so without a better look at the study we will not find the truth of it. For all we know all the tests could have had a strong family history of diabetes and heart disease. Why does it only affect those 2 things and not Kidney or liver disease the things that filter the bad stuff out?
I do think that the stuff should not be in Baby bottles because the levels that affect them could be allot lower then adults and they did say that if you heat stuff up it releases more of the chemical! If they use bags in the bottles it could be ok but as long as they can not use the bottle without a bag.


RE: Scientific Method?
By PresidentThomasJefferson on 9/17/2008 12:26:56 PM , Rating: 5
Having majored in Molecular Cell Bio/Biochemistry at UCBerkeley, I can tell u that there have already been lab studies of BPA in animals/cell cultures --BPA interferes with a hormone that helps protect against heart disease/diabetes

The issue wasn't whether BPA is harmful (it's already been shown to be harmful in lab studies of animals/cell cultlures), it was if BPA leeched in sufficient amounts from plastic bottles/etc to cause harm to humans

Since there are traces of BPA found in humans now and that those with the highest levels of BPA found have twice the heart disease/diabetes risk of those with the lowest BPA

Now it's just a question of if BPA caused the heart disease/diabetes(as was the case in animal lab/petri dish studies) or whether heart disease/diabetes increased absorption of BPA

Get it now?

Some provinces like Ontario,Canada have a 'better safe than sorry' & have already banned BPA in human-use bottles/food containers


RE: Scientific Method?
By clovell on 9/17/2008 3:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that was actually half his point - that correlation does not imply causation. In this case, there doesn't even seem to be a significant correlation.

Furthermore, it's not simply a question of whether BPA caused increased CHD, or CHD caused increased BPA - there could be many other confounding factors (e.g. if high cholesterol increased BPA absorption).

This study is a yellow light - not green, not red, but a good reason to take a closer look. I suppose if folks want it banned in the meantime, especially in vulnerable populations (baby bottles), that's certainly reasonable. But, everyone needs to realize that this isn't decided yet.


RE: Scientific Method?
By guy007 on 9/17/2008 5:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
nice to see a fellow mcb on dt. i was mcb at Cal too. go bears!


RE: Scientific Method?
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/17/2008 6:43:31 PM , Rating: 1
so is it pretty much only the bottles with the "7" inside the recycle symbol? or are there specific properties of the bottles I should be on the lookout for? Any help understanding which types of plastic are being implicated is much appreciated.


RE: Scientific Method?
By fibreoptik on 9/22/2008 12:42:10 PM , Rating: 1
Awww... ain't that swell?

WHO GIVES A SH1T!!


RE: Scientific Method?
By menace on 9/19/2008 1:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I completely agree. I am also a major in Molecular Biology. You can tell by the way I type in thick letters.


RE: Scientific Method?
By illuvatar81 on 9/17/2008 1:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that what science has been doing for the last hundred years, seeing effects and guessing up possibilities that could've caused them and than stating those possibilities as facts.


RE: Scientific Method?
By birdoprey on 9/18/2008 1:55:16 AM , Rating: 3
Actually no, that would be religion. And it goes back a lot farther than the last hundred years.


RE: Scientific Method?
By geddarkstorm on 9/18/2008 2:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
Um, no, that's science. Science is the /process/ of inquiry whereby an event is observed and the factors which cause the event are teased out via manipulation of variables (either directly or by simply viewing more events in different contexts) while keeping other variables constant. In this way, the relationships of variables to the outcome of a process can be deduced. Once this is done, a model of reality can be made to explain what causes and influences observed events. That's science. If you already know the cause of an event definitively, all knowledge is complete and nothing more can be gained - that is the end of science.

So the OP was totally wrong. Science is all about observing an event and then guessing (hypotheses) the cause, but then /testing/ that guess to see how valid it is, which is why it's a constant process (technically, religion is only fundamentally different from this in that the guess cannot be tested). Once you have enough evidence that a variable influences an event in one way, you have a theory - that is, again, a model of explanation with predictive power.


RE: Scientific Method?
By d0gb0y on 9/17/2008 3:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Last time I checked scienced was cause and affect, not see an effect and guess a cause.


Global Warming?


Studies are flawed
By basbrian on 9/17/2008 10:36:42 AM , Rating: 1
We all can agree that almost every study is flawed and biased, but what do we know? Today, a higher percentage of children are being diagnosed with ADHD, autism, and other genetic behavioral disorders than history. In most cases, their parents did not exhibit any symptoms of the same disorder during development (this can be verified by NEJM and JAMA articles).

Today, we have several differences, but the most notable difference is plastic. Where once babies drank from glass bottles, they now use plastic. Where once children had wooden and metal toys (granted lead paint issues that have been tied to other unrelated issues), all toys are now plastic. Heaven forbid we find that another petroleum product kills people! Who would have thought that something as silly as napalm could kill people?!

I prefer to drink my water and soda from glass bottles. It costs more, but that is my choice. If it keeps my children from having behavioral disorders, it is worth it. If not, then it is my due diligence, but don't come crying to me when your kid has problems. If you have reasons to be concerned, stop using plastic bottles. If you don't care, don't whine about it when you have problems... simple.




RE: Studies are flawed
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2008 11:01:56 AM , Rating: 4
I think these days we tend to be more critital of so called "disorders". Before we just had people who were a little odd, but now they are disorder #1, #2, #4, etc... Frankly I don't buy into the ADHD crap. If parents would learn some discipline and exercise it when they go running around like wild animals, it would slow down pretty fast. Unfortunately parents in this day and age are largely failures on a massive scale. It's no wonder we have so many screwed up kids.


RE: Studies are flawed
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 11:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah ADHD is a load of crap. If you're kid is running around like crazy, you smack them. If they won't sit still and study, you spank them for doing badly in school.

You don't drug them up. And for you people who think spanking or slapping your child is child abuse, your parents need to smack you. It wasn't child abuse in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s. It isn't child abuse now.

And kids were a hell of a lot more respectful and did far better in school before all this crap started. Why? Parenting.


RE: Studies are flawed
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 2:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'll ignore the fact that your premises that kids used to be better behaved and smarter are wrong and address the child abuse issue (you'll be surprised).

Spanking is not child abuse. Never has been, and never will be. It can be one tool for a parent.

The problems with endorsing it are that it takes a judicious and patient parent to try to use physical pain to teach. Those are exactly the sort of parent who are going to find the other, more effective means of teaching.

Secondly, spanking needs to be done for the benefit of the child, not because the parent is angry. Much of the time that's the rub. When a parent is angry the options get narrower....

Third, it's never ok to injure the child. There's nothing you can allowably do to a child that you can't do to another adult. Children are not property, they're people-even if you did create them, a good rule of thumb is that if it's criminal to do to your neighbor, it's criminal to do to a child.


RE: Studies are flawed
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 2:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Spanking is not child abuse. Never has been, and never will be. It can be one tool for a parent.


That's what I said. But there are many people who seek to make it count as child abuse.

quote:
The problems with endorsing it are that it takes a judicious and patient parent to try to use physical pain to teach. Those are exactly the sort of parent who are going to find the other, more effective means of teaching.


If one isn't ready to take the time and patience to be a parent, one should not do anything that might result in them becoming a parent. Or take the proper steps to insure they don't become one.

quote:
Secondly, spanking needs to be done for the benefit of the child, not because the parent is angry. Much of the time that's the rub. When a parent is angry the options get narrower....


I didn't say parents should spank their kids because they're angry. I said they should spank them because they deserve it. Because they were misbehaving.

quote:
Third, it's never ok to injure the child. There's nothing you can allowably do to a child that you can't do to another adult.


I never said it was ok.

quote:
Children are not property, they're people-even if you did create them, a good rule of thumb is that if it's criminal to do to your neighbor, it's criminal to do to a child.


Children are not property in the sense they are not slaves. But as a parent, you are responsible for your child and have the right to control what they do, when they do it, and who they do it with. They can rebel if they want, but then you can punish them if you so choose. I was taught at a very young age that if I didn't like my parents rules, I was free to leave. Did it seem unfair at the time? Of course. But I'm glad they raised me to have respect for authority. Even today at 25 and as a working adult, when going to lunch with older co-workers I tend to move toward sitting in the back seat to let the older guys have the front. Because that was ingrained into me.


RE: Studies are flawed
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 6:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't necessarily disagreeing with you on every point. I was confirming that it's not abuse and it acutally pisses me off when people claim spanking is abuse because that builds up sympathy for those convicted of abuse or with their kids in custody-they just claim all they did was spank them-when in fact it is almost without fail much more than that.

I was trying to explain that spanking can be a tool when used responsibly, but highlighting that people tend to be pro- or anti- corporal punishment when in fact there is a very wide gray area. Further, it's important to differentiate 'why' and 'when' children receive spankings because in my experience spanking is the preference when a parent doesn't know what else to do, doesn't have the time or means to try something else, or is overwhelmed. One thing that is inarguable is that there is no magic in spanking-it can be effective, but there's nothing showing it's more effective than anything else.

The societal value that changed wasn't punishment-it was attitude toward authority in general in the home. When we were kids, more often than not if you got in trouble with school, your parents believed the teacher and followed up with discipline at home. Now, parents are all too fast to blame the school/cop/social worker for their kids' mistakes or deny that they happened at all. The selfish me-first Reagan generation needs to realize that even their beautiful little angel that never lost a soccer game (because they don't keep score) and always got a trophy (because everybody's special) sometimes throws spitwads.

We can agree on the point that parenting is not all it can be nowadays. I don't think it was ever all that great, just that it used to be parents felt it was a priority to present themselves better whereas many nowadays band together to rebel against the 'evil' schools and 'unfair' teachers rather than working with them to fix the situations.


RE: Studies are flawed
By foolsgambit11 on 9/17/2008 3:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
Historical precedent can only take you so far. Slavery wasn't abuse in the 15th century, or the 16th, or the 17, or the 18th, or even more than half of the 19th century. The disenfranchisement of women wasn't immoral for generations, either.

Everything is alright, until it isn't any more. I did a quick Google for "study shows spanking good for kids", and guess what? Maybe it's just the 'liberal media bias' (except several of the top sites are government studies posted on government web sites), but all I got were studies linking spanking and corporal punishment to negative results. It takes time for public attitudes to change (it took decades for civil rights causes, and we're still trying to improve), and I think that change is in its infancy in this issue.

Lastly, Geoffrey Canada was on NPR's Fresh Air this week, and he mentioned that there are no studies that have linked corporal punishment of children to improved outcomes in any aspect of their life. I don't know if that's true or not, but I thought I'd throw out the challenge to the readership here, knowing you're all excellent at scouring the web for this kind of stuff.


RE: Studies are flawed
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 4:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "all I got were studies linking spanking and corporal punishment to negative results"

From one major study on corporal punishment:
quote:
It should be noted that neither the pro-spanking or anti-spanking studies are truly scientific - they cannot be modeled or reproduced by other researchers, and the studies are often heavily biased toward producing a result that affirms the researcher's personal beliefs.

Another serious flaw in many of the anti-spanking studies is the lumping together of all types of physical violence and assaults by adults upon kids, and referring to this as corporal punishment...


Is that because of lunch boxes?
By Don Tonino on 9/17/2008 10:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think it would be interesting to see if the correlation between diabetes/heart diseases and BPA is shown also regarding the handling and use of dishes and kitchenware containing that chemical. As I doubt that adults could be exposed to it from baby bottles, there must be an increased use of those items containing BPA in those with an higher blood level of it - or is it used in other items, which don't readily spring to mind?
Anyway, I just wonder if those diseases (whose onset can be heavily influenced by diet) are correlated to BPA just by the fact that those people always carry their own lunch from home and heat it up in the microwave, so getting more BPA in the blood - but ending with diabetes or an heart attack by the particular diet they follow. In a word, has the correlation been truly proven?

Disclaimer: I do not work in, or am being paid by, the chemical industry, just wondering if there could be any hidden agenda in this study, aside from the easy to see behind the chemical industry dismissal.




RE: Is that because of lunch boxes?
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 12:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
> "In a word, has the correlation been truly proven?"

A correlation has been proven at a certain confidence level, meaning there's a chance (usually 5 or even 10%) that no correlation exists at all.

But what most people forget is that, even if a correlation exists, it doesn't prove causation. The two effects could simply share a common cause, or be related in some entirely other manner.

For instance, there is a definite correlation between AIDS levels and the use of chlorinated drinking water (large cities where AIDS is most prevalent usually chlorinate; rural areas may not). But it's ludicrous to suggest AIDS is caused by chlorinated water.

BTW, the media will never tell you this, but the lead author of this study has been on a vendetta against plastic companies for 10 years:
quote:
For all his efforts, vom Saal has one goal: to see the day when some plastics corporations are seen in the same light as companies that make asbestos or sell tobacco.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2006/11/...


RE: Is that because of lunch boxes?
By clovell on 9/17/2008 3:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Would you happen to know the confidence level(s) used in this study? I haven't seen the word 'significant' in any of the articles linked.


RE: Is that because of lunch boxes?
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 3:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like a 95% confidence was used. Source paper is here:

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300/11/1...

The American Chemical Council also has an interesting bit to say about the study:
quote:
The new study is a statistical analysis that attempts to correlate urinary concentrations of bisphenol A, which reflect very recent exposure, with the incidence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, the onset and development of these diseases occurred over time periods well before the bisphenol A exposure measurements were made . Because of this and other inherent limitations, the study is not capable of establishing a cause and effect relationship between bisphenol A and these health effects.
http://www.americanchemistry.com/s_acc/sec_news_ar...


RE: Is that because of lunch boxes?
By clovell on 9/17/2008 6:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
Great point there, Michael - which is why the entire idea of using NHANES, rather than prospective data is a bad one. The only other large national database that comes to my mind that might shed further light on this is LSAO, conducted by the CDC. LSOA is a longitudinal study, but it focuses on the elderly.

The fourth sensitivity analysis seems most prudent, as it actually adjusts for potential confounders rather than simply demographics (favorite among epidemiologists).

> Models adjusted for levels of triglycerides plus LDL-C had a reduced number of participants (data for the fasting subsample only), but overall trends were similar: a 1-SD increase in BPA concentration was associated with increased odds of reporting diabetes (n = 635; OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.93; P = .04). However, the association with cardiovascular disease became nonsignificant, although the trend was similar (n = 546; OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.88; P = .33).

Which really seems to put this in a bit more perspective. When adjusted for confounding factors, they're analyses yield only a single significant result. I see no mention of adjustments for multiple testing, and, as you pointed out, the nature of the study seems to preclude any causal conclusions - at least those in the direction of what we're hearing.


leach?
By johnadams on 9/17/2008 10:24:21 AM , Rating: 2
"...sufficient amounts did not leach into the water."

Did they mean "leak"?




RE: leach?
By johnadams on 9/17/2008 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
My bad - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/leach

1. To remove soluble or other constituents from by the action of a percolating liquid.
2. To empty; drain: "a world leached of pleasure, voided of meaning" Marilynne Robinson.


RE: leach?
By fibreoptik on 9/22/2008 12:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
zomg?!!! FREE dictionary FTW! :D :D


OMG
By arazok on 9/17/2008 10:27:48 AM , Rating: 3
I had a can of chicken noodle soup last night.

I’m going to die. I’m actually, going, to, die.

I can’t believe this.




Bisphenol A
By billg1745 on 9/17/2008 10:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
What are the numbers? These "studies" seldom report absolute numbers. Rather, the data are presented in a manner to maximize fear. The numbers might be that 2 people in the high level group had heart problems, and only 1 in the low group did. Such a result would almost certainly be a chance occurrence. Whatever the actual numbers, there is a good chance that the result was pure chance. Furthermore, how was the material measured in the samples. High tech analytical methods in the hands of people more interested in grinding an axe that in science can easily result in misleading findings. If all research was done a poorly as the alarmist medical "studies" we see almost every day, humanity would be on the verge of making the transition from copper to bronze age technology.

One other minor point--Nalgene is a brand, not a material.




Wait a minute here . . .
By BarkyMcWoof on 9/17/2008 10:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
Read the report. Then read the study it's based upon. I can't find any indication as to how the test subjects were exposed to BHP. No connection to food containers is shown. Isn't the point of the FDA ruling that BHP remains contained in the surrounding structure? I saw a suggestion that cooking in Nalgene might increase the chance of BHP emissivity.

If you use a Nalgene container for cooking, your bad judgment is more a problem than increased risk for BHP exposure.




By clovell on 9/17/2008 11:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
The reason the FDA isn't looking to shut down an entire industry just yet is because there is a very distinct difference between a link and a significant link. There's an entire area of applied mathematics called statistics that is an integral part of our scientific method.

I guess it wouldn't be a news story without some drama, though.




A few other possibilities
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 11:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
One possibility is that the disease came first and somehow raised the body’s absorption of BPA. The other possibility is that the BPA came first and somehow interact with the patients' bodies, putting them at higher risk of diabetes and heart disease
Or c) People who drink excessively from BPA-containing bottles tend to drink more sugary drinks and have unhealthier diets, leading to diabetes and heart disease.

Or d) The study is simply revealing a random correlation, without any causation at all. Most of these epidiomological studies are done at the 95% confidence level. . . which means out of 20 studies, one will show a spurious correlation.




One sample of urine?
By jimbojimbo on 9/17/2008 2:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Everybody's urine has varying concentrations throughout the day. They need to take several samples. If they just take one sample and it's high in one chemical compared to other people's urine maybe it's because that person doesn't drink any water at all and just sits around eating all day. That couldn't correlate with heart disease and diabetes could it?

Also, they only tested for BPA. I'm willing to bet those high in BPA were also high in everything else as well.




I know what happened
By jimbojimbo on 9/17/2008 2:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
The guy running the study used two different urine collection bottles. Those he knew didn't have any disease, like younger people, he used nice soft bottles. Those he knew did have heart disease, older overweight or generally unhealthy, he used hard plastic 7 bottles. Tada! Science!




Proves Something
By GTVic on 9/17/2008 5:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think the study proves that people with high levels of BPA are thirsty...




Wood Toys are Better Than Plastic
By garwoodpr on 9/18/2008 2:16:20 AM , Rating: 2
Parents can replace plastic toys like kids blocks with wood ones from family companies like www.TagToys.com that make all their toys in the USA.




By phxfreddy on 9/18/2008 7:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
... the left hates bottled water now because its become one of the tenants of the Church of Later Day Warming.

I think its safe to say they will always find something to complain about. They will always keep militating against something once they have decided it is their target.




Chicken & Egg indeed
By VoodooChicken on 9/17/08, Rating: 0
But how does this affect global warming?
By Lord 666 on 9/17/08, Rating: -1
By lco45 on 9/23/2008 5:24:33 AM , Rating: 1
That's funny.


Hormone disturbances -> gay epidemic
By DeepThought86 on 9/17/08, Rating: -1
By jimbojimbo on 9/17/2008 2:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
Being gay is an epidemic?


By arazok on 9/17/2008 2:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
Are you really that big of a douche that you felt compelled to say that?


I think its BS
By FITCamaro on 9/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: I think its BS
By Lord 666 on 9/17/2008 10:07:17 AM , Rating: 2
1. Your around 25-27, correct? The issues of heart disease and diabetes typically onset later on in life.

2. Your blood tests were probably the basic panel. Furthermore, this study only checked urine.

3. The study checked BPA levels within urine, but BPA is a fat soluble chemical. Based on known affects above the threshold limits, its a xenoestrogen.

4. The largest concen for BPA (or at least mine) is for my children. If the early exposure to this chemical can be reduced or eliminated.


RE: I think its BS
By SectionEight on 9/17/2008 10:07:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you are buying water that is already bottled. Those bottles are not made out of the same plastic. The plastic in question is used in the extremely hard, clear Nalgene and other brand bottles (#7 recyclable plastic). Unless I am mistaken and you buy a new Nalgene everyday and toss it in the recycle bin at the end of the day, you are likely drinking out of the proven-safe #3 or other plastic. If you can squeeze the bottle and it deforms, the bottle does not have the plastic in question.


RE: I think its BS
By FITCamaro on 9/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: I think its BS
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 11:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
You're always in here trying to use freakin' anandtech as your conservative political forum....

"Environmentalists" generally will stay away from nalgene too. Because it's a petroleum product like all other plastics. Even the one you refill several times a day that is completely different from the topic at hand but thanks for sharing your ignorance.

The more nalgene makes the news, the more people drink out of plain old stainless steel. It's long been the best medium and it's also cheap, indestructable for practical purposes, and recyclable if you do manage to set your coffee mug behind your car and run it over.

No sense in fighting for the cause of possibly dangerous materials that come from oil and are sold at about a billion percent markup at retail....

I don't hate nalgene, I just don't see any need to defend it either. Use stainless and you know you're safe, your mug is cheaper, and you can be sure it's durable and recyclable.


RE: I think its BS
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 11:57:50 AM , Rating: 1
If you don't like my opinions, don't read them.


RE: I think its BS
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 12:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No sense in fighting for the cause of possibly dangerous materials that come from oil and are sold at about a billion percent markup at retail....


And there is sense in it. If you just give up on something any time someone claims it to be unsafe, you're quickly going to run out of things to use.


RE: I think its BS
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 12:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
> " Use stainless and you know you're safe..."

Put any acidic drink in stainless steel, and you can leach out toxic and carcinogenic nickel. And even the iron in steel itself is deadly in large enough dosese.

Are the doses too small to be dangerous? Almost certainly so...but so is Nalgene.


RE: I think its BS
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
You're acting like nickel doesn't have a valid role in the body as a trace mineral. Your argument (to me) is not much different than bananas have potassium and potassium will eat right through your skin.

The dosage is the key element in both arguments. There is no known safe or helpful level of BPA in the body and I don't know of any other context in which one would ingest it.

Nickel, on the other hand is a trace mineral similar to iron or zinc, that has a role in necessary body functions like hormone production. Nickel is proportionately very common in DNA and RNA. Nickel pickup from cookware is less than is normally taken in through diet anyway-

http://www.nickelinstitute.org/index.cfm/ci_id/223...

As to stopping using products that are less safe, I'd challenge you with the inverse of your argument, FITCamaro- What would you suggest I do, refrain from choosing equally effective, possibly safer products in order to keep a diverse marketplace?


RE: I think its BS
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 2:38:36 PM , Rating: 1
Buy what you want and let me buy what I want.


RE: I think its BS
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 4:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
> "The dosage is the key element in both arguments"

That's exactly the point. The dosages of both nickel and Bisphenol A are too small to cause alarm. As are the dosags of millions of other carcinogenic and teratogenic chemicals we consume on a daily basis.

There's over 600 different chemical compounds in a cup of coffee. Roughly half will cause cancer in a large enough dose. Does that mean we should ban the drink?

> "Your argument (to me) is not much different than bananas have potassium and potassium will eat right through your skin."

There is no metallic potassium whatsoever in bananas. You've confused an element with a compound. Potassium salts do not "eat through your skin".


RE: I think its BS
By guy007 on 9/17/2008 5:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
No. The point you are missing is that YOU say the levels ofBPA are too small to cause damage. We KNOW that the levels released in the stainless steel cup are too small to be harmful.

So on the one hand I have a scientific fact that the levels in stainless steel are safe. On the other hand I have MASHER who we know to be hugely biased for the oil/petroleum industry telling us one of the end products of petroleum refinment is safe. This is pretty much like a representitive of the cell phone industry telling me cell phones are safe. They MIGHT be but I surely wont be taking their word for it.

BPA in these levels MAY be safe but im def. not gonna be taking MASHERS word for it.


RE: I think its BS
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 6:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "We KNOW that the levels released in the stainless steel cup are too small to be harmful"

No. We know absolutely very little for sure in epidemiology. Furthermore, some individuals are so sensitive to nickel as to preclude their use of any nickel products, including the use of nickel-containing cookware or the wearing of watches or jewelry with nickel in them.

> "On the other hand I have MASHER who we know to be hugely biased for the oil/petroleum industry telling us one of the end products of petroleum refinment is safe"

You have the FDA, the American Chemical Society, and the results of over a dozen studies of direct biological testing of the effects of BPA all saying the same thing.

On the other hand, you have a study with no direct testing at all, but merely suggests a weak statistical correlation that may or may not even exist and, even if it does, most likely indicates something other than a causal relationship.

Right off the top, there's a 5% chance the results are nothing but an accident of statistics, with nothing being seen here but random chance. Ignoring that, we have several other problems. First is that BPA is flushed from the body fairly quickly. Diabetes and heart disease take years to develop. The BPA being measured therefore couldn't possibly have caused these illnesses.

To get a causal link, one has to hypothesize the individuals with high BPA levels had habits that exposed them to BPA for years or decades. Those very habits, however, are more likely the cause of the health problems. A person with high BPA levels eats and drinks more from plastic bottles and canned (the cans contain a plastic lining) foods, rather than a healthier diet containing mostly fresh and frozen foods. We know diet is a major key for triggering diabetes and heart problems.

Furthermore, we know both those conditions can and do lead to elevated levels of various chemical compounds in the body. Meaning the causal link, if it exists, could very well simply be in reverse. The health problems trigger the BPA levels, rather than vice versa.

There are a few other problems, but suffice it to say, a weak statistical correlation from a single small study does **not** override years of live biological testing.


RE: I think its BS
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 6:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure in the 50's and 60's there were some dubious studies that said smoking might be dangerous or seatbelts might be safe.

The fact that an imperfect study shows a tenuous corellation doesn't make the conclusion false.

I do give you credit for calling me on the potassium salts-by the same token, wouldn't most nickel that comes off stainless steel also be a compound-nickel oxide would be my guess since there would need to be some reaction with a volatile element that is catalyzed by the heat of cooking or by an acid in order to release it?

I also agree with you FIT that you can buy what you like and I'll by what I like. I'm not unreasonable like that. If you get diabetes or I have renal failure, it is true that we all put our lives in more danger every day by driving and even walking on staircases than either nalgene or stainless injects into our lives.

That being said, if BPA might cause cancer and does come from nalgene, I'll take my chances with my nickel-plated steel or plain old glass which is just as good except for that indestructible part.


RE: I think its BS
By myhipsi on 9/17/2008 10:14:25 AM , Rating: 4
Bottled water doesn't contain BPA anyway. The plastic used in those is PET #1 so that wouldn't be an issue anyway, although it is recommended that they not be refilled or reused. BPA is in those reusable polycarbonate water bottles that you often see cyclists using.

Though this is an interesting study, I'd be more inclined to think that bacon and candy bars have more to do with heart disease and diabetes than BPA does :P


RE: I think its BS
By Sanity on 9/17/2008 10:17:00 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, the bottle of water I'm drinking right now is marked #1. I don't think you're going to find pre-packaged bottled water with a #7. Maybe you should TOFTT and switch to a #7 container for the next few years, and then go get all your tests (make sure they test for BPA!). I'm sure we'd all be interested in the results. Who needs all those smart guys and their fancy studies?! We can figure it out right here!


RE: I think its BS
By tmouse on 9/17/2008 12:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
If you drink bottled water from a cooler then it’s from a #7 bottle. One problem is #7 just means "other" (not one of the specifically defined plastics). It can contain multiple resins, may or may not have BPA. Some hard plastic condiment jars and the like are also #7.


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