“Worst case is some women may have little beards.”

Just a month after our GIRLFRIENDS’ Post, American Women are Being Poisoned, Should We Care, the governor of Maine issued a dire warning to women regarding the health effects of bisphenol A.

“The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”

Pretty tough talk…and dumb since high levels of estrogen won’t cause an overabundance of facial hair growth.  It is, however, linked to breast, uterine and ovarian cancers.

Governor LePage’s comment was in reaction to his stance on restricting bisphenol A in the production of plastic  bottles, something Canada and eight U.S. states have already done.  LePage’s own Maine Board of Environmental Protection, “recommended banning the sale of reusable food and beverage containers containing BPA beginning in 2012.”

“There is a large body of evidence about the hazards of BPA that is irrefutable,” said Susan Shaw, a toxicologist at the Maine Environmental Research Institute.

LePage discounts the experts’ studies, suggesting that if he hasn’t heard about the toxic effects of bisphenol A then there must not be any.   Perhaps he should step out of his circle of influence, because I checked and it didn’t take me long to find several studies that were frightening enough to get rid of plastic altogether.  In fact, growing facial hair seemed to be the most tame.

Chapel Hill bisphenol A expert panel consensus statement: “Concerns about the potential for a relationship between BPA and negative trends in human health that have occurred in recent decades; examples include increases in abnormal penile/urethra development in males, early sexual maturation in females, an increase in neurobehavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism, and an increase in hormonally mediated cancers, such as prostate and breast cancers. [this statement was only a consensus of 38 experts, hardly a quorum].  But there are others:

Bisphenol A linked to Obesity

Permanent changes to genital tract

Changes in breast tissue that predispose cells to hormones and carcinogens

Long-term adverse reproductive and carcinogenic effects

Increased prostate weight 30%

Lower bodyweight, increase of anogenital distance in both genders, signs of early puberty and longer estrus

Breast cells predisposed to cancer

Decreased maternal behaviors

Reversed the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior

Disrupts ovarian development

Bisphenol-A has been shown to bind to thyroid hormone receptor and perhaps have selective effects on its functions

Wonder what women in Maine are thinking about their governor just about now?  I’m pretty sure bisphenol-A can increase a woman’s ability to laugh at comments made at their expense during a serious press conference about the long-term effects that can kill and cripple themselves, their daughters, their sisters, their mothers and their grandmothers.  Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, where are you?