Breast Cancer Links, Bisphenol-A and Plastics

by Marianne Marchese, ND

Breast Cancer Links, Bisphenol-A and Plastics

Bisphenol A, BPA, is a chemical used in the manufacture of plastics used for baby bottles and water bottles. It is used in the plastic lining of metal food cans, dental sealants, and is in the carbon-less paper receipt that most cashiers hand out after a purchase at the store.1 Most people in the U.S. are exposed to BPA on a daily basis whether they know it or not. It is estimated that as many as 90% of people in the U.S. have detectable levels of Bisphenol A in their bloodstream.2 BPA has estrogen-like effects in the body and is considered an estrogen mimicking chemical with links to breast cancer.

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The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange, TEDX, recently published a scientific review summarizing studies looking at the effects of Bisphenol A. The results of their study showed that low-dose exposure in females affected the development of female eggs, embryos and breast tissue. Exposure to BPA was correlated with polycystic ovarian syndrome, an increase in miscarriages, and a decrease in successful births.. These are only a few of the health effects linked to low-dose BPA exposure. The full report on Bisphenol A by The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange can be viewed at

In 2010 the Breast Cancer Fund, a nonprofit group that looks at the scientific evidence linking chemical exposure to breast cancer. In regards to Bisphenol A exposure, the report cites concerns for the development of breast cancer. [3] Studies using cultures of human breast cancer cells demonstrate that BPA acts through the same response pathways as the natural estrogen estradiol (Rivas, 2002; Welshons, 2006). BPA can interact weakly with the intracellular estrogen receptor (ER), and it can also alter breast cell responsiveness. BPA has been shown to mimic estradiol in causing direct damage to the DNA of cultured human breast cancer cells (Iso, 2006).3


Concerns about Bisphenol A have lingered for years. BPA is present in numerous household products such as canned foods, plastic containers and bottles, dental sealants, carbonless paper sales receipts, and more. It is almost impossible to avoid even if you try, and it is present in the blood and urine of over 90% of the U. S. population. BPA has known estrogenic effects in animals, cell cultures and humans. More and more scientific studies are clearly making the connection to low-dose BPA and breast cancer risk. Avoiding the use of plastic bottles, canned food, and plastic food containers is a good start in reducing exposure to BPA. Getting this chemical and other estrogen mimicking chemicals out of consumer products is the only to truly eliminate exposure and stop the adverse health effects in humans.

Learn more in my book 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness.


  1. vom Saal FS, Myers JP. Bisphenol A and risk of metabolic disorders. JAMA. 2008;300:1353-1355.
  2. Lang IA, et al. Association of urinary bisphenol A concentration with medical disorders and laboratory abnormalities in adults. JAMA. 2008;300:1303-1310.
  3. Grey J. State of the evidence; the connection between breast cancer and the environment. 2010 6th edition.

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