A new study has revealed that a common chemical used to create plastic food containers can do permanent damage to the enamel on children’s teeth, stopping it from developing properly and weakening the teeth. Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in items like refillable drinks bottler and experts warn that this chemical should be avoided until the child is at least five years old.
Leader of the study, Dr Katia Jedeon, said that enamel development does not stop until the age of five, which leaves the teeth vulnerable to damage from chemicals. The study, which is to be presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology, involved giving rats a daily dose of the chemical from birth to thirty days old, then cells were taken from the surface of the rats teeth. The results showed that the genes that controlled the mineralisation of the tooth enamel were affected by exposure to BPA and another chemical called vinclozolin.
In the EU and the US, BPA has been banned from use in babies’ bottles, due to the fact that the bottles are heated and this can release the chemical. However, the Food Standards Agency and the European Food Safety Organisation do not view the chemical as a safety concern. Regarding vinclozolin, the World Health Organisation said that it was ‘unlikely’ to be extremely hazardous ‘in normal use’.