But the mouse study offers evidence that “high-dose testing just doesn’t tell us what’s going on at low doses,” said Laura Vandenberg, a Tufts University researcher who did not participate in the new study.
“When you look at the highest dose that regulators say is the no observed adverse effect level [5,000 micrograms per kilogram] we should be finding nothing,” Vandenberg said. “And that’s just not the case.”
The EPA did not respond to requests for comment on vom Saal’s study.
Scientists are increasingly looking at environmental chemicals as a potential contributor to the growing obesity and diabetes problem.
BPA mimics estrogen, which has different effects on different systems and organs in the body, said Thomas Zoeller, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst, professor. Exposure to such chemicals during development can alter metabolism by changing how the body regulates insulin and glucose, he said.
Zoeller said vom Saal’s study adds to the concern about how ubiquitous chemicals are tested. “We’ve created a system where the entire human population is being exposed to chemicals that haven’t been evaluated for safety at relevant levels,” he said.
This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.