BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical used in the creation and production of the majority of plastics and other household items such as tin cans, toys, baby bottles, etc. It is so widely produced that the majority of the people in the United States have been contaminated by it. With something so mass produced, it’s definitely natural that people would like to know the long term effects and if it is something to be concerned about.
However, since the production of this chemical is essential in many production factories to make money, the CEOs of said companies tend to refuse to admit that it could have any harmful side effects.
Let’s found out which assumption (if any) is correct:
Null Hypothesis: BPA does not do anything to human health or development (favored by big companies)
Alternative Hypothesis: BPA does something to human health and development (favored by
Now for some background information.
How does it get into your system?
BPA can get into your system through a number of ways, including breast milk, food, and even just handling items that contain it. BPA can contaminate food and beverages from the containers, and once that is ingested it’s in your system.
How can it be detected?
According to ScienceDirect, BPA levels can be detected and measured through standard procedures such as blood and urine tests, but it can also be detected in prenatal development through amniotic fluid or the umbilical chord. It can also be detected in semen.
Effects on human development:
While BPA has been known to contaminate men, children, infants, and even animals, the most studied and known side effects are present in woman. According to ScienceDirect, women with certain ailments such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Symptom, which is when there is too much testosterone produced in a woman), miscarriages (even more so if the woman has already had miscarriages in the past), or being overweight tend to have higher concentrations of BPA in their system than those who don’t. It is also suspected that women with higher BPA concentrations tend to start puberty earlier than those who don’t (at around age 9 or 10 instead of the usual 13 years old).
According to the article, it appears that studies and observations on BPA side effects are typically not well researched or even documented – or in other words, suffer from the file drawer problem. The ScienceDirect article states that the majority of BPA observations usually lack detail, limit the control of third party variables, and usually don’t even have enough participants to see a definitive statement.
While we have enough evidence to say that BPA does in fact do SOMETHING (and therefore, reject the null hypothesis), until more well-written and well-tested studies are done, it is unclear as to what exactly the BPA side effects are, the extent to their harm, or what people can do to prevent/alleviate them.
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