Researchers see effects of BPA in monkey mammary glands

09 May 2012

A new study finds that fetal exposure to the plastic additive bisphenol A, or BPA, alters mammary gland development in primates. The finding adds to the evidence that the chemical can cause health problems in humans and bolsters concerns about it contributing to breast cancer. "Previous studies in mice have demonstrated that low doses of BPA alter the developing mammary gland and that these subtle changes increase the risk of cancer in the adult,” said Patricia Hunt, a geneticist in Washington State University’s School of Molecular Biosciences. "Some have questioned the relevance of these findings in mice to humans,” she said. "But finding the same thing in a primate model really hits uncomfortably close to home.”
BPA has been banned in some containers in 11 states - most recently in California. In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration turned down an environmental group’s petition to ban use of the product but said it would continue research on the health effects (News Item Washington State University, 7 May 2012).