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New study raises questions over previous research into BPA

By Simon Pitman , 03-Jan-2013
Last updated the 09-Jan-2013 at 10:42 GMT

A new study on the chemical BPA, which is included in a variety of cosmetics packaging, highlights the fact that previous laboratory studies could not be replicated.

The three year study was carried out at the University of Missouri (MU) and involved 2,800 mice, with the aim of replicating previous studies by another research group concerning the chemical.

Although the report does not claim that BPA is safe, its conclusion, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, did not reach the same results as the previous study, which was also carried out at MU.

No positive or negative outcome

"Our findings don't say anything about the positive or negative effects of BPA or genistein," said Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor of biomedical sciences in MU's Bond Life Science Center.

"Rather, our series of experiments did not detect the same findings as reported by another group on the potential developmental effects of BPA and genistein when exposure of young occurs in the womb."

The previous researchers had claimed that exposure to BPA in mice resulted in yellow coat color, or agouti, offspring that were more susceptible to obesity and type 2 diabetes compared to their brown coat color, healthy siblings.

However, the team headed up by Rosenfeld at the University of Missouri did not obtain the same results when repeating the study over a three-year period, despite the fact that additional animals and studies were made.

BPA banned in formulations, but said to be safe for packaging

The use of BPA, also known as Bisphenol A was banned as an ingredient in cosmetic formulations back in 2006, but it is used as a coating material in a number of packaging materials, including plastic bottles and aerosols, where it is used to prevent corrosion.

Cosmetic manufacturers and representative bodies argue that the use of Bisphenol A is essential to prevent the degredation of packaging to ensure the quality of the formulation, an ultimately human health.

Further to this, it is also underlined that compulsory safety assessments on the chemical have found that its inclusion in cosmetics packaging leads only to trace migrations of the substance that do not represent any risk to human health.

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