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Essay Sample: Do Low Doses of BPA Harm People?

2 pages
521 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Article review
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In general, the article is exploring the eminent danger posed by exposure to BPA to people. BPA is a chemical component in products such as paper receipts, polycarbonate plastic, food and beverage liners and dental sealants. Toxicologosists working in laboratories around the world have noted its disruptive effects on hormones since it works as hormones thus altering brain development and reproductive systems. People with high levels of exposures, in fact are prone to cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and sets the stage for prostate and breast cancer. However, some of the toxicologists have presented contradictory reports stating that the potential effect on human bodies is low since the amounts of PBA in products are too low. At the American Association for Advancement of Science annual meeting, some of the toxicologists used mathematical models to present sound arguments showing how the amounts are not harmful.

Though the article has significant information, I find Justin Teeguardens argument (of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), that there is not sufficient evidence on which to make claims that humans are at risk at current exposure levels to be very important to understand. Personally, I appreciate studies backed up by evidence as a necessity in forming a viewpoint.

This article is authored by Elizabeth Grossman, an independent journalist and writers that is specialized in environmental and scientific issues. She is highly experienced in the field having authored articles such as Molecules: Poisonous Products, High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and other books. Scientific Americans mission and vision it to give information regarding scientific and technological advancement to interested citizens that is both understandable and provocative. The purpose of the article is to shed light on the different opinions about PBA and the harm that it allegedly causes. The article is biased and could be considered to be in opposition to the view that BPA is any harmful to health. The article provides a wealth of counter-arguments from different toxicologists going to the extent of even including the scientists in question and the institution they work in to prove their credibility. For instance, the stress on Justin Teeguarden who works at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The author seems to have willfully ignored the fact that the Food and Drug Administration finds the current levels of BPA occurring in foods are safe, which could add weight to the counter-arguments provided for the argument. Though a highly reputable scientist, the article notes Teeguardens argument which notes that the contended levels causing effects in animal studies, particularly through interaction with estrogen receptors are much higher than the level his models suggest to be plausible in people. I do not understand why the animal studies could be used for generalizations when the exposure levels and impacts are not similar to those expected for human beings.

Question: Despite the lack of documented effects, does it mean that there are no effects on the human body? Could the study could be custom-made to reflect the potential impact on human bodies?


Gould, S. R. 2010. BPA and the Controversy about Plastic Food Containers: National Capital Poison Center; [accessed 2018 January 17].

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