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Blood levels of BPA become source of controversy

Values reported for humans appear high, study charges, possibly suggesting contamination or exaggerated exposures

BOSTON — The ubiquity of the pollutant bisphenol A in many plastic products, food-can linings, cash-register receipts and dental resins means that everyone is exposed to it daily. But controversy remains about how much BPA people actually ingest or otherwise encounter. New data reported at a February 16 symposium raised red flags over the accuracy of previously reported human blood concentrations of BPA — amounts described over the years as being representative of the general population.

Those values appear to be roughly 1,000 times higher than most people actually encounter, concludes toxicologist and symposium organizer Justin Teeguarden of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. His assessment, reported at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, was based on a reanalysis of data from previously published studies, including BPA values measured in more than 30,000 people.

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