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BPA causes lower sperm count and increased female hormone levels in men

Published: Wednesday, June 29 2011 1:52 p.m. MDT

Bottles and cups made and sold for children under age 3 can no longer contain BPA, starting July 1, according to KNDO.com. The ban's goal is to reduce overall lifetime exposure to BPA, starting from the first time an infant drinks from a bottle.

BPA is a chemical found in some plastics and resins, such as food storage containers, water bottles, food packaging and other plastics, and researchers believe this chemical seeps into beverages and food from the plastic, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A CBCNews report said that 93 percent of Americans from the age of 6 and up have detectable levels of BPA. While BPA exposure does not seem to cause developmental problems in human, it is being linked to irregular hormone levels and to low sperm count in men.

Recent research from the University of Missouri found that in male mice BPA can cause feminization because it interferes with the body's production of hormones as it mimics estrogen, according to the Times of India. They also found that the female mice did not want to mate with the male mice exposed to BPA, and the researchers believe these effects will be similar in humans.

In addition to the possibility of feminization, according to an ABC report from 2010, exposure to the chemical can cause a low sperm count.

MSNBC's report on the same five-year study said the actual quality and quantity of sperm is affected by BPA, even with low levels of exposure.

Just as the male mice experienced higher levels of female hormones causing feminization, human males with lower sperm counts due to BPA exposure had higher levels of female hormones, according to Health Age.

"This adds additional human evidence that BPA is bad," said Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist, in an article on WashingtonPost.com. "The general public should probably try to avoid exposure to BPA as much as they can."

There are ways to reduce exposure to BPA, according to About.com. These include: eat less canned foods, use cardboard containers or glass containers, including glass bottles and cups, don't microwave plastic containers WashingtonPost.com. "The general public should probably try to avoid exposure to BPA as much as they can."

There are ways to reduce exposure to BPA, according to About.com. These include: eat less canned foods, use cardboard containers or glass containers, including glass bottles and cups, don't microwave plastic containers and don't put hot foods or beverages in plastic containers.

EMAIL: awhatcott@desnews.com

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