Day-to-day product like food cans, water pipes, dental sealants and milk container linings generally use the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). A research team guided by Scott Belcher, PhD, at the University of Cincinnati (UC) , reports in the Journal Endocrinology, December 2005 edition that even low level of Bisphenol A (BPA) is identified to disrupt estrogen action on the development of the brain and is also concerned with disease and developmental problems.
These studies also paved the way to understand the rapid signaling mechanism of estrogen in regions of the brain that were previously thought not to be involved in sexual differences.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used as an artificial estrogen and is the primary hormone in female sexual development, but low doses of BPA blocks the activity of estrogen, which increases the growth and viability of neurons resulting in damage to the brain cells. Experiments on rat brain neurons revealed that damage occurred within minutes even at very low doses. It was proved to increase breast cancer cell growth and recently it was reported to increase prostate cancer cell growth too. BPA is also proved to cause lethal effects in fetus.
BPA molecules are linked to form polymers used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins but these chemical linkage are unstable and the BPA leaches into the food that comes in contact with the plastic.
The problem now associated with this low-dose effect is that deteriorating effect of BPA can be easily missed by standard techniques, which determines chemical exposure risk. This raises concern over the effects of BPA in the environment.
Estrogen in the early stages kills certain neurons but in the later stages increases their viability. On the other hand BPA behaves in a very complicated fashion and it is important to understand the detrimental effects of this chemical on the brain.
Inspite of many research (more than 100) conducted to prove the harmful effects of BPA many chemical industries resist the ban of using BPA in food and beverage containers despite the fact that BPA free plastics can also be used as an alternative.