Toxic Plastics Chemical in Infant Formula

Executive summary

August 9, 2007

Toxic Plastics Chemical in Infant Formula: Risks at low doses

In animal studies, BPA has been linked to a variety of prevalent diseases, many of which are increasing in the United States and are taking a major toll on our collective health. These include breast and prostate cancer, obesity, and infertility. The United States is noted to have one of the highest incidence rates for breast and prostate cancers in the world; lifetime risk for these cancers has steadily risen over the last two decades and currently stands at 1 in 8 for breast cancer in women and 1 in 6 for prostate cancer in men.

In addition, obesity is also on the rise in the US and is regarded to be an epidemic by public health experts. More couples are also reporting difficulties with infertility, with a recent CDC study finding a 20% increase in the last decade in the number of couples who report having difficulty conceiving.

What is most worrisome about these animal studies is that the doses of BPA that are being used are extremely low and in the range of the levels that have been found in people. In other words, the levels of BPA that are being found in people have been linked in animal studies with serious medical conditions that affect the health and wellbeing of millions.

BPA's toxic effects in lab animals are on the rise and common in people

BPA toxic effects in lab animals


Many studies confirm BPA's low-dose toxicity across a diverse range of toxic effects


Daily BPA exposure (ug/kg body weight-day) Toxic effect Study details Reference
0.0001 alterations in cell signalling pathways on the cell surface that control calcium eflux in cells in-vitro study which compared activity of BPA and other hormone disruptors Wozniak 2005
0.025 persistent changes to breast tissue, predisposes cells to hormones and carcinogens fetal exposure, osmotic pumps, changes noted a 6 months of age Munoz-de-Toro 2005
0.025 permanent changes to genital tract fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Markey 2005
0.2 decrease antioxidant enzymes adult exposure, oral Chitra 2003
0.25 altered growth, cell size and lumen formation in mammary epithelium of mouse fetuses. exposure during pregnancy w/osmotic pumps Vandenberg 2007
2 increased prostate weight 30% fetal exposure, oral route Nagel 1997
2 increased aggression at 8 weeks of life fetal exposure, oral route Kawai 2003
2.4 Decreased time from vaginal opening to first estrus, possibly earlier puberty fetal exposure, oral route Howdeshell 1999
2.4 lower bodyweight, increase of anogenital distance in both genders, signs of early puberty and longer estrus. fetal exposure, oral route Honma 2002
2.4 decline in testicular testosterone fetal and neonatal exposure, gavage Akingbemi 2004
2.5 breast cells predisposed to cancer fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Murray 2006
2.5 immune system impacts oral exposure Sawai 2003
10 prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer infant oral exposure, 3 day duration Ho 2006
10 prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer fetal exposure, oral route, short duration Timms 2005
10 insulin resistance develops in 2 days, chronic hyperinsulinemia at day 4 subcutaneous injection, short duration exposure Alonso-Magdalena 2006
10 decreased maternal behaviors fetal and neonatal exposure, oral route Palanza 2002
20 damage to eggs and chromosomes fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Hunt 2003
20 damage to eggs fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Susiajro 2007
20 brain effects - disrupted neocortical development by accelerating neuronal differentiation and migration single injection Nakamura 2006
30 reversed the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior oral during gestation and lactation Kubo 2001
30 hyperactivity oral Ishido 2004
50 EPA RfD EPA's 'safe exposure level, based on outdated, high dose studies and a 1000-fold margin of safety EPA 1998


BPA concentrations are expressed in parts per billion (ppb) by weight (micrograms of BPA per kilogram of food).