BPA and dental sealants

I had no idea there’s BPA in dental sealants!

That’s what a WBUR program reporting on a proposed ban of BPA in Massachusetts says (see “State Wants BPA Ban in Some Children’s Products,” May 12, 2010). Today, while sorting files, I found a brochure about dental sealants I was given when my son’s dentist recommended dental sealants — Seal Out Tooth Decay: A Booklet for Parents.

The first sentence reads “Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.” So yes, dental sealants are plastic and apparently the kind of plastic that has BPA in it. But the brochure, of course, does not mention BPA.

www.bisphenol-a.org, a web site “sponsored by the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, which is organized regionally at the American Chemistry Council, PlasticsEurope, and the Japan Chemical Industry Association,” claims on a page “Resin Dental Sealants and Bisphenol A Oral Exposure” that “human exposure to BPA from dental resins is minimal and poses no known health risk.” But then the same web site also assures that “consumer products made with BPA are safe for their intended uses and pose no known risks to human health.”

Apparently, some sealants may be BPA free (according to www.non-toxickids.net post “BPA in Dental Sealants? Ask Your Dentist,” from January 1, 2009). But my son already has dental sealants on his teeth. Now I wonder whether it makes any sense (because, frankly, it is too late to do anything) to check whether his sealants have BPA in them.

Bisphenol A and ADHD

Apparently major retailers in Canada are pulling off the shelves products that contain bisphenol A because they’re anticipating an announcement from Health Canada that the chemical is “dangerous.” (See the April 15, 2008 article “Major retailers pull bottles containing bisphenol A” on the CTV News web site.

Bisphenol A or BPA is a component in polycarbonate, #7 plastic that is used to make food and drink containers (including baby bottles). It is also used in the lining of soft-drink and food cans.

No action from the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. on it yet, but apparently, as The New York Times reports in its April 22, 2008 article “A Hard Plastic Is Raising Hard Questions,” the chemical is”facing increasing scrutiny by health officials in Canada and the United States.”

What I found interesting in the article on CTV is the following quote: “There are over 150 peer-reviewed studies that show that bisphenol A is linked to breast cancer, to attention deficit disorder, to obesity and a whole host of developmental problems.

I knew about the studies linking BPA to cancer. I did not know there’s a link between BPA and ADHD. One more thing I need to do a bit more research on.