Although BPA is also sometimes found in tableware, medical devices, dental sealants, and automobiles, among other places, the draft brief stated that humans primarily absorb BPA though food and drink. The
The draft brief points out that most ingested BPA is metabolized and eliminated in the urine. The remaining ("free") BPA in the body is probably harmful. Based on evidence from animal studies, infants and young children are thought to be less efficient at metabolizing and excreting BPA than adults, the draft brief states, so they retain higher levels of free BPA in their bodies. The draft brief also says that BPA seems to leach more easily from plastic into foods when the food is heated. As such, baby bottles (often heated up, of course, before given to the baby) seem like an especially potent source of exposure in infants.
Formula-fed infants aged 0 to 6 months, who are exposed to BPA primarily though baby bottles but also through the packaging of formula containers, might absorb about ten times the amount of BPA as a breast-fed infant, according to the draft brief.
I find this information, and the pervasiveness of BPA in the environment, disturbing news. I first read about the NTP draft brief in a story on the Washington Post online, and the writer considered the report's findings worrisome. A number of other online news outlets, such as Fox Business, on the other hand, chose to run the press release on BPA from the American Chemistry Council as an article. The American Chemistry Council press release, not surprisingly, states that the NTP draft brief proves that there are no serious human reproduction concerns about BPA.
Yes, the data is based primarily on animal rather than human studies, and the authors of the NTP draft brief pointed out a number of limitations to the studies they looked at, such the reproducibility and structure of some studies. I still think that the information in the NTP draft brief is too important to be dismissed – especially for parents, who have been concerned about the plastics in baby bottles for years.