BPA Targets Your Manhood, New Study Finds

Dozens of studies suggest you should give up BPA for good.

January 23, 2015
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The United States manufactures millions of pounds of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) each year, but researchers are showing exposure to just a teeny-tiny amount could hit a guy where it hurts most—his manhood. A new study published in the journal PLOS Genetics uncovers exactly how BPA—a popular chemical used in plastics, the lining of canned foods and drinks, and thermal cash-register receipts—permanently disrupts the delicate DNA interactions needed to create healthy sperm.

Plummeting sperm counts have become a major concern over the last 50 years, with more and more couples seeking fertility treatments to have children. The idea is that when babies absorb BPA while a mother is pregnant (or early in the child's life) during crucial windows of development, the hormone-disrupting chemical scrambles the body's ability to create a normal reproductive system.

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In the latest study, Washington State University researchers gave newborn male mice oral doses of BPA and saw genetic abnormalities that resulted in higher rates of sperm death. How does this translate to humans? "In fact, studies show that the BPA level in the body of the typical American exceeds the amount that blocks sperm production and causes chromosomal damage in animals," author Bill Gottlieb explains in Health-Defense: How to Stay Vibrantly Healthy in a Toxic World.

More From Rodale News: 11 Surprising Sperm Killers

You can get BPA out of a tomato can at a rate of 50 micrograms per liter—and that level is going to impact health, particularly in the young, Frederick vom Saal, PhD, professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri–Columbia, points out in Health-Defense. "I won't go near canned tomatoes." (Here are 14 other foods you should never eat.)

• Do NOT trust "BPA-free" products. Another breakthrough study found the common BPA replacement, BPS, causes brain damage. Your best bet is to skip plastics altogether.

• Avoid plastic containers whenever possible, including plastics making "BPA-free" claims (see above). Replace plastic water bottles with high-quality stainless steel, such as those from Klean Kanteen.

• Green-minded actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba, author The Honest Life, prefers glass food-storage containers, including Pyrex, Ball mason jars, or Wean Green Cubes.

• Avoid canned food and drinks (this includes soda), and opt for fresh or frozen whole foods whenever possible. (Note: The brand Eden Foods is one of the only companies in the U.S. using a vegetable-based can lining.)

• Say no to receipts when you don't need them. The coating on the paper usually contains BPA or BPS and has been shown to easily seep into your skin. If you need a receipt, file it away ASAP. Don't let it linger in your wallet or purse.

• Spread the word. Inspire others to ditch BPA from their lives by sharing the 8 Weird Things BPA Does to Your Body.