Use of polycarbonate plastic products and human health

R. K. Srivastava, Sushila Godara


As plastic and plastic products are being used in day to day at the cost of environment pollution, the human and wild life health and has become a global concern. Researchers found link between abnormal liver enzymes in the people and Bisphenol-A (BPA). Changes in insulin resistance, reproduction system, cardiovascular and brain function are also reported. BPA is used in the production of epoxy resins, polycarbonate resins, and polyester resins. BPA can leach out of certain plastic products including variety of modern goods, reusable food storage containers, eyeglass lenses, white dental fillings, sealants, medical equipments etc. In the body, BPA behaves as an estrogen receptor agonist and mimics estrogen hormone. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a widespread endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) used as the base compound in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. Children and unborn and new born babies are at high risk of unwanted effects of BPA. Children suffer from chronic exposure to bisphenol A with manifestation of gastrointestinal problems, adrenal stress, immune dysfunction, toxic over load and neurological disorders. Some study in Japan has observed that more BPA can leach from polycarbonate products that have been scratched or is more than 4 years old or used bottles that have been subjected to bottle brushing or dishwashing and sterilization. People exposed to higher levels of BPA due to use of plastic food and beverages containers are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and metabolic disorder. Recent studies have suggested that BPA exposure may have a role in the development of weight gain, insulin resistance, pancreatic endocrine dysfunction, thyroid hormone disruption, and several other mechanisms involved in the development of diabetes. Urinary BPA levels are found to be associated with diabetes mellitus independent of traditional diabetes risk factors. There is a concern of exposure of BPA to pregnant women that can affect the development of offspring in the womb. It is considered that women may be placing their fetuses at the risk by having dental sealants applied during pregnancy. Public should be educated about the use of plastic and plastic products which can prove to be hazardous and risk factor to many health problems of human and wild life.


Bisphenol A, Polycarbonates, Plastics, Hormone disruptors, Diabetes

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