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The Safety Of Plastics, Beyond B.P.A.

More scrutiny of plastics. Evidence of potential danger now, even in the kinds that were supposed to be safe. We’ll get the latest.

his Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 file photo shows a sculpture made of empty water bottles in Burlington, Vt. New research presented by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 suggests that high levels of BPA, a chemical in many plastics and canned food linings, might raise the risk of miscarriage in women prone to that problem or having trouble getting pregnant.  (AP)

This Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 file photo shows a sculpture made of empty water bottles in Burlington, Vt. New research presented by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 suggests that high levels of BPA, a chemical in many plastics and canned food linings, might raise the risk of miscarriage in women prone to that problem or having trouble getting pregnant. (AP)

The Food and Drug Administration says the chemical bisphenol-A, or B.P.A., is safe – but bans it in baby bottles, baby cups, the packaging for baby formula.  The American Medical Association has deemed B.P.A. an “endocrine disrupting agent.”  Studies have found it mimics estrogen.  Have linked it to cancer, asthma, diabetes, obesity, infertility, heart disease.  Households across the country have cleared their shelves of B.P.A. plastic.  But what if the “B.P.A.-free” plastics – substitutes – are dangerous too?  There’s a huge fight over that right now. This hour On Point:  the safety of plastics.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mariah Blake, reporter for Mother Jones. (@MariahCBlake)

R. Thomas Zoeller, professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Shuk-Mei Ho, chair of the department of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

From Tom’s Reading List

Mother Jones: The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics — “Today many plastic products, from sippy cups and blenders to Tupperware containers, are marketed as BPA-free. But Bittner’s findings—some of which have been confirmed by other scientists—suggest that many of these alternatives share the qualities that make BPA so potentially harmful.”

Wall Street Journal: No Ill Effect Found in Human BPA Exposure —  “Human exposure to a controversial ingredient in many plastic bottles and food containers is too low to be worrisome, according to a closer look at 150 studies of an additive called bisphenol A, widely known as BPA. A toxicologist at the federal Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reported Friday that he had re-examined studies covering blood levels of BPA, which in high enough doses can mimic the sex hormone estrogen, among 30,000 people in 19 countries, including women and infants.”

Newsweek: BPA Levels Higher in Men With Prostate Cancer: Study – ” new study published Monday in the journal Plos One found that men with prostate cancer have BPA in their urine at levels 2- to 4-fold higher than cancer-free men. Aging is the best-known risk for prostate cancer, which makes the study’s findings particularly salient: BPA concentrations were especially high in prostate cancer patients under the age of 40, when aging is less of a contributing factor to the development of prostate cancer.”

R. Thomas Zoeller’s Tips On Reducing BPA Exposure

More Tips From R. Thomas Zoeller

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

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Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

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On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

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Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
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Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

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Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
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We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

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