ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross appeared on Kansas City’s KCTV5-TV Nov. 4, 2010, to explain why we shouldn’t be afraid of bisphenol A (BPA).
Chemophobia is running rampant in the news media and is needlessly scaring the public over the alleged adverse health effects that chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and certain parabens — a group of antimicrobial chemicals used to perserve cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and certain foods — may pose. Thankfully, ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross was able to lend balance and perspective to some of these popularized myths in an interview for a KCTV5 investigative report on the chemical controversy over BPA. Countering claims made by University of Missouri biological science professor Dr. Frederick vom Saal that BPA is a human carcinogen that can cause obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart attack, Dr. Ross explained that “there is absolutely no scientific validity to this fear about BPA.”
He added, “It’s quite safe as we currently have it in consumer products. The attacks on it are being generated by anti-chemical, chemophobic people and a few selected laboratories whose whole structure depends on demonizing BPA.”
The journal Environmental Health Perspectives only further adds insult to injury by publishing a so-called study that links certain parabens to DNA damage in men’s sperm cells, a relationship that is supposedly more profound when BPA and paraben levels were considered jointly. After measuring the concentration of three paraben metabolites in men’s urine while also determining the levels of a whole litany of hormones, researchers found a positive correlation between urinary paraben levels and DNA damage measured in sperm cells.
After reading the study, ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan asked Dr. Ross if she had already read this before since all of the articles in Environmental Health Perspectives sound the same. “Parabens have no relationship to human health nor do they cause damage to sperm cells, yet this journal still continues to publish these junk science stories,” she says.
“This is simply a disgrace and abuse of science,” agrees Dr. Ross. “There’s nothing in this study at all that even gives the slightest hint that the parabens found in people’s urine has any effect on reproductive capacity.”
“I think Environmental Health Perspectives should carry a warning label on the cover: ‘Beware: the junk in this journal can be dangerous to your health and cause unnecessary alarm,’” says Dr. Whelan.