Sabbath 20/6/30/120 A

Dear Friends,

This Sabbath we are coming to a few more mundane matters that are nevertheless important to our well-being and health.

It was reported in the Los Angeles Times, by Marla Cone, and again in the Seattle Times, on August 3 2007, that scientists were issuing warnings of an oestrogen-like compound in plastic likely to be causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in people.

The name of the compound is bisphenol A (BPA). It is one of the highest-volume chemicals in the world, and it is now found in the bodies of most human beings. The substance is used to make hard plastic, and can seep from beverage containers and other rigid plastic items, and is harmful when used in food containers especially. That means that it can seep from any rigid plastic item including large water cooler containers, sports bottles and microwave oven dishes. It affects canned food liners and some dental sealants for children. In short, it affects just about anything plastic you put food in. It can transfer the compound to you, and especially under heat.

It is especially dangerous in young children, and foetuses are the most vulnerable. So if you use these products, or store and heat your food in microwaves, you are affecting the life and well-being of your child.

These several dozen scientists, including four from US Federal health agencies, reviewed about 700 studies before concluding that people are exposed to levels of the chemicals exceeding those that harm lab animals. Their statement was published online in the journal Reproductive Toxicology and was accompanied by a new study by researchers from the National Institute of Health that found uterine damage in newborn animals exposed to BPA.

It appears that damage is a possible predictor of reproductive diseases in women including fibroids, endometriosis, cystic ovaries and cancers. It is reported as the first time that BPA has been linked to female reproductive-tract disorders, although earlier studies have found early-stage prostate cancer and breast cancer, and decreased sperm count in animals exposed to low doses.

What is perhaps the most extraordinary thing is that no studies have so far reportedly looked for effects in people, although it is admitted now as being in significant levels in humans.

As we might expect, the plastics industry reacted by lambasting the scientists as alarmist and biased and using inconsistent or uncertain science. Many of the scientists are alleged to have conflicts of interest because they have either studied BPA and reported effects, or already taken a clear advocacy position.

We have come to see this reaction from every industrial source that is found to be using a hazardous substance. The industry has said that government committees in Europe and Japan have decided that there is insufficient evidence to ban the substance. The US expert panel convenes next week. This is a common theme. The answer is simple. It is better to be safe than sorry. We have an obligation to our families and to the environment.

The major problem we face is that there are no controls in a number of countries. We have found recently that some Asian countries have proved somewhat unreliable with the use and quantities of hazardous chemicals in products destined for overseas.

The solution is simple. Feed your baby from a glass bottle like we did years ago. Use glass water storage. Don’t use plastic storage containers and don’t microwave from plastic. Don’t feed your animals from plastic or use it for water containers.

It may be that this is being overcautious but something is causing the massive increase in these forms of diseases in people, and as they identify a source, stop using it. Stop until they prove absolutely safe, not just go on with insufficient evidence. It is your family and your life.

This report will also go on the health bulletin section. We will switch to glass containers and storage and other types of known safe microwave materials.

The eclipse of the moon was of interest this week. I hope some of us got to see it. The Seventh month is not far off now with Trumpets is less than two weeks away.

May God bless and keep you all.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General