An ongoing debate continues over the safety of a chemical that is commonly used in plastic products, such as baby bottles. The chemical in question is bisphenol A (BPA), which contains benzene, a known carcinogen.

The FDA announced earlier this week that they have hired a panel of outside experts to review data regarding the safety of the chemical. Bisphenol A can be found in various plastic products, from water bottles to milk jugs.

Study Conducted

A recent study conducted by Journal of the American Medical Association has found that bisphenol A can lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The study included 1, 455 adults and found that BPA concentrations were higher in those with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Those with the highest concentrations of BPA also had nearly three times the odds of cardiovascular disease, in comparison to those with lower concentrations.

"One of the reasons for its toxicity is that bisphenol A contains benzene. Phenol is a chemical term for hydroxy-benzene, and we know that benzene itself is highly toxic," said Neil Carmen, Ph.D., Clean Air Program director for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Problems in the Past

These recent reports don’t mark the first time that the government has questioned plastics and the existence of BPA. In past decades more than 100 studies have been conducted linking the chemical and its contents, such as benzene, to various forms of leukemia, obesity and hyperactivity.

As can be expected, plastic companies dispute these allegations claiming the studies aren’t conclusive and encouraging consumers to continue purchasing plastic products.

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