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Studies Link BPA to Erectile Dysfunction

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According to researchers Bisphenol-A or BPA can be dangerous to men’s reproductive health. BPA is a common compound found in most plastic containers (baby bottles, laptops, and microwave containers) and tiny amounts circulate in 90% of the bodies of most Americans. However, a team of Chinese and U.S. scientists argue that BPA has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men.

Six years ago De-Kun Li, a senior scientist at Kaiser Permanente’s research arm, became alarmed at a steady stream of scientific studies that showed that BPA altered the reproductive organs of rates and mice. However, there is another side to the debate. In fact, some statisticians, toxicologists and endocrinologists question which research animals are really relevant to humans and their subsequent diseases.

Li knew that he would have to find some human evidence to help overcome the defenses against the toxicity of BPA. He couldn’t obviously create a study that involved exposing humans to BPA, so he did the next best thing. Li found four factories in China where large quantities of BPA are generated. There he discovered that the men who were exposed to the highest levels of BPA had more sexual dysfunction. Furthermore, when compared to men that didn’t work at the factory, the factory workers had four times the rate of erectile dysfunction. Additionally, the factory workers complained of ejaculation problems seven times as much as their non-factory worker counterparts.

Nevertheless, the workers were exposed to BPA in a much different way than most consumers: they inhaled the BPA instead of eating from plastic containers that contain the compound. Thus, BPA is merely a contaminant in foods for regular consumers, and the compound must pass through the digestive track first. “Raw” BPA can still be found in the bloodstream of most average consumers, but not at the same concentration levels of the factory workers. The question is how much BPA is necessary to harm the male reproductive system? While this question goes unanswered, it is unlikely that manufacturers will change their regular habits of using BPA in their products.