Gender-bender chemicals `putting more people at risk`

London: More and more people are getting
exposed to gender-bender chemicals widely found in drink cans,
plastic bottles and CD cases, a new study has revealed.

Researchers claim to have found at detectable levels
in a number of pregnant women, teenagers and children one such
manmade chemical, called Bisphenol A that is linked to breast
cancer, birth defects and infertility.

The study analysed more than 80 researches which
measured concentrations of BPA -- which mimic the female sex
hormone oestrogen -- in bodily fluids.

After looking at thousands of people in Europe, China,
Korea, Japan and America, the researches showed that traces of
the chemical were "routinely" found in blood, breast milk and
urine, the `Daily Mail` reported.

"These studies overwhelmingly detected BPA in
individuals including adults, adolescents and children," lead
author Dr Laura Vandenberg of Tufts University was quoted by
the British newspaper as saying.

In fact, one research of BPA found traces in 591 out
of 599 German children. Another research of 300 pregnant women
found it in the blood of 84 per cent of women and 40 per cent
of their foetuses.

Although levels were low, the researchers point
to evidence from animal studies that BPA can cause effects at
concentrations below the official safe dose.

Elizabeth Salter-Green of the campaigning group
CHEM Trust said: "This is overwhelming evidence that BPA is
now found as a widespread contaminant in people, including
pregnant mothers and their unborn children."

The findings have been published in the latest edition
of the `Environmental Health Perspectives` journal.