Bisphenol A Link to Dental Treatment Problems

September 20, 2010

The danger of BPA is something I have highlighted previously in other newsletters, particularly in relation to children, and now there appears to be yet another cause for concern relating to dental treatment. BPA was originally produced for use as a synthetic hormone in 1936 and today is most commonly used as the building block of polycarbonate plastic for products such as baby bottles and water bottles, epoxy resins (coatings that line food containers), and white dental sealants. It is also an additive in other types of plastic used to make children’s toys.

To date there is extensive scientific literature reporting adverse effects of BPA at doses lower than the current level considered safe by U.S. EPA, a high rate of leaching of BPA from food and beverage containers, and evidence that the median BPA level in humans is higher than the level that causes adverse effects in lab studies.

Children are Most at Risk:

Growing children are particularly at risk to chemicals in their environment because they face greater exposure per pound of body weight and are physiologically more susceptible to them. Children’s exposures begin at conception, as chemicals, including BPA, cross the placenta in a pregnant woman’s body and can affect the embryo or foetus during critical periods of development.

Now there is even greater cause for concern as, according to researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, bisphenol A (BPA) is also released from some plastic resins used in dentistry. They found that this is detectable in the saliva after used during routine dental treatment and among the many risks associated with BPA are changes in behaviour, urinary tract development, and early onset of puberty. Adults of course are not immune either as prostate problems are also associated with BPA.

This study was carried out in the USA where children often have their teeth sealed with a dental resin containing BPA to prevent cavities, and it is often used for fillings. Although they point out that exposure to dental treatment is much less common than children being exposed to BPA in everyday food containers for example it is still a cause for concern. Indeed, they go further and as a further precaution urge that resins containing BPA should not be used on pregnant women.


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