Plastic Contaminants Can Increase Blood Pressure

A latest study that has been accepted for presentation at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting (ENDO 2020), that has been canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak, finds that commonly used bisphenol A (BPA) can increase the risk of hypertension in developing fetus.

The study was conducted on rats by Maryam H. Al Mansi, who is also the lead author of this research, and co-researchers at University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA. It will be published in a special supplemental edition of the Journal of Endocrine Society.

BPA is the most commonly used chemical agent in plastic industry. It acts as a contaminant to the environment and also affects human endocrine systems. It may cause hypertension even at very low doses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already banned this chemical for use in baby-feeders in 2012. Since then BPA analogs like bisphenol F (BPF) and bisphenol S (BPS) are used in plastic industry as its replacement but their physiological effects have not been studied and established in detail.

The lead author says:

Cardiovascular diseases are among one of leading causes of death among adult men and women. As per the new guidelines of American Heart Association for blood pressure, nearly half (45.6%) of the US population is hypertensive. Along with many other reasons and factors that are linked with a higher prevalence of hypertension in our society, contaminants from daily items also play an important part, but their effect is usually understudied or neglected.

Source: American Heart Association

Another co-author of the study, Prof. Puliyur S. MohanKumar, of Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, says:

During the study, it was observed that even at very low dose exposure of BPA and its replacement chemicals, the blood pressure of the offspring is affected and it can lead to hypertension at the later stage of life. So it becomes really important to avoid these sort of exposures during pregnancy.

Source: International Society of Hypertension

This study involved pregnant rats, which were exposed to very low doses (1-5 μg/Kg body weight) of normal saline, BPA and its analogs like bisphenol F (BPF) and bisphenol S (BPS). The growth of the offsprings was monitored till they reach their adulthood. They were implanted with a device to monitor changes in their blood pressures and heart rates. The records were made day and night after every 24 hours for 11 weeks. Both day and night blood pressures and heart rates were higher in BPA, BPS and BPF rats than normal saline ones. It was concluded that before birth exposure to low dose BPA and related chemicals can induce hypertension.

Source: The Sleuth Journal

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