Skip to main content

Chemical used in plastic packaging may cause obesity: research (downtoearth,)

A new study claims that exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make plastics, even in small quantities, increases the risk of obesity in children. The synthetic chemical is widely used in food packaging like water bottles and cans.

Alfonso Abizaid and his team of researchers from Carleton University say that BPA reduces children’s sensitivity to leptin—the satiety hormone which informs us when we are full. Hampered functioning of leptin can cause overeating and lead to obesity, the research finds.

The latest study, published in journal Endocrinology, contradicts United States Food and Drug Administration’s (USFDA) stand on the controversial chemical. FDA says that exposure to BPA is not harmful if it is limited to 11 micrograms per person per day. Use of food packaging like bottled liquids or canned food, at exposure greater than 150 micrograms per person per day can be an indicator of carcinogenicity and is a cause for concern, FDA adds.

Abizaid’s research limited BPA exposure to levels well below FDA standard, claims The Endocrine Society that publishes Endocrinology.

“As a scientist my job is to determine if BPA does have an effect on organisms like us (mammals) at concentrations that government environmental protection agencies have delineated as safe, to ensure that this is the case,” Abizaid says.

To investigate its effects, the team fed food containing BPA to pregnant mice. Once the expectant mothers gave birth, the offspring were injected with leptin at regular interval to check weight change.

According to researchers, leptin levels increase in mice, eight days after birth normally. They found that exposure to BPA delayed the increase by two days. They also found that exposed offspring weighed more than their sheltered counterparts.

Abezaid’s group addresses a very pressing issue in recent times. He adds, “In our study we show evidence supporting that even at these low concentrations BPA has an impact in the systems that regulate our metabolism in developing mice, and that this pre-disposes them to develop metabolic disorders”.

Why is BPA controversial

BPA is extensively used in production of hard plastics like polycarbonates and epoxy resins. Epoxy resin coats metal food and beverage cans to prevent corrosion and food contamination. Apart from these, BPA is also used in electronics, safety equipment, automobiles, and food containers.

BPA mimics a female sex hormone called Estrogen. BPA is also an endocrine disruptor chemical. This synthetic chemical has come under the scanner after studies have shown its involvement in Type-2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, neurological complications, and infertility.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

The Chipko movement as it stands today

The idea behind the Chipko movement originated in early 1970s from Mandal, a village in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Forty-three years later, Down To Earth travelled to Chamoli and Tehri Garhwal and spoke to the participants of this movement about its relevance today