Good News for Viagra

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I'm not really sure how a chemical that started as an artificial form of estrogen made a career shift into plastics. But that's exactly what bisphenol A (BPA) has done, and according to an article in yesterday's Washington Post, it has now been shown to cause erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in men.

We're all exposed to BPA just about every day. It's in water bottles, baby bottles, canned food linings, and so on — the article cites the figure that 93 percent of Americans have been shown to have BPA in their urine.

Now, the study profiled 634 factory workers in China, who handle BPA constantly and are exposed to about 50 times more of the compound than the average American. So maybe we shouldn't all go reaching for the Viagra/Cialis/mail-order herbal remedy for impotence just yet. But the researchers said that the emasculating side effects may show up at lower levels, too — this is only the first study to conclusively show problems associated with BPA exposure in humans.

Lab rats on the other hand have had problems with obesity, early onset puberty, and a host of nasty  BPA-related conditions for years. Some more responsive companies have agreed to reduce or eliminate BPA from their products. This is a good step in the right direction.

A better one might be — and I'm just throwing this out there — to ask the question, "Why did we think putting a synthetic hormone in our food and drink containers was a good idea in the first place?" And then stop doing it.

Image: Indy.com

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