BPA, Dental Sealants, & Some Twisty Logic
Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
It’s time for another round of Follow the Logic.
Last week, the ADA proclaimed that “BPA in dental sealants [is] safe.” The evidence? Research just published in the ADA Professional Product Review, which tested BPA release from 12 sealants used by dentists in the US.
The analysis indicated that the BPA release from dental sealants is very low — .09 nanograms. This amount is well below the limit proposed for a 6-year-old child (who weighs about 20 kilograms, or 44 pounds) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1 million nanograms per day) and the European Food Safety Authority (80,000 nanograms per day).
That hypothetical child, said the ADA, “is exposed to more BPA from food; drinks; sunscreen, shampoo, body wash and other cosmetics; and air and thermal paper (such as cash register receipts) than from the amount that is in dental sealants.”
Suffice it to say, it takes a mighty big leap to get from this to concluding that BPA from sealants is therefore safe.
It’s like saying, “Sure, some mercury vapor is released from amalgam fillings, but it’s a lot less than what you’d get from eating tuna; therefore, amalgam is safe.”
It just doesn’t follow.
It does confirm that BPA from sealants just adds to a child’s overall daily exposure to the chemical, even if by a fairly small amount. So if you’re opting for sealants, why not go with a BPA-free material instead? They are available, after all.
Meantime, the question remains: Is BPA safe? Scientists continue to explore its effects on the human body, as well as our environment, but the research to date suggests that it’s wise to limit exposure to this chemical (and other endocrine dirsruptors).
“There’s too much data consistent across studies…time and time again…to ignore it and suggest BPA has no effect on humans,” says Gail Prins, a physiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.