A new study says not only is bisphenol-A not broken down safely in the human body, but that bisphenol-A is transformed into a chemical that could cause obesity.
The research from Health Canada is the first to suggest that the human body metabolizes bisphenol-A - also known as BPA - into something that could create cellular changes and spurn obesity.
"This shows we can't just say things like 'because it's a metabolite, it means it's not active'," Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was not involved in the study, told Scientific American. "You have to do a study."
Through soda or water bottles, food containers or canned goods, we are exposed to BPA daily. Our liver is able to metabolize about half of the BPA concentration within six hours, so half of the bisphenol-A is converted to BPA-Glucuronide, which is eventually excreted.
For the study, the researchers treated mouse and human cells with BPA-Glucuronide. The cells exposed to BPA-Glucuronide had a "significant increase in lipid accumulation," according to the study results. BPA-Glucuronide is "not an inactive metabolite as previously believed but is in fact biologically active," the authors wrote.
"Hopefully this [study] stops us from making assumptions about endocrine disrupting chemicals in general," said Thomas Zoeller, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who was not involved in the study, according to Scientific American.
"Metabolism's purpose isn't necessarily a cleaning process," Vandenberg explained. "The liver just takes nasty things and turns them into a form we can get out of our body."
Bottom line, Zoeller said: "There could be other [health] impacts."