A study conducted by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) presented to the European Congress of Endocrinology has concluded that chemicals found in plastic and fungicide may be causing irreversible damage to children’s teeth. The chemicals are classified as “endocrine disruptors” (ED), and are responsible for interfering with hormones which encourage the growth of new tooth enamel.
Amongst the chemicals which were identified, two are worryingly common: Bisphenol A (BPA) can be found in plastic items such as food storage containers, lunch boxes and drinks bottles. Vinclozolin is a fungicide which is often used in vineyards, orchards, and even golf courses. Exposure to both these chemicals can inhibit the body’s ability to produce enamel. The oral condition Molar Incisor Hypermineralisation (MIH), where teeth are more susceptible to cavities may be linked to exposure to these ED chemicals. 18% of children aged 6-9 suffer from MIH.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Katia Jedeon said: “Tooth enamel starts at the third trimester of pregnancy and ends at the age of 5, so minimising exposure to endocrine disruptors at this stage in life as a precautionary measure would be one way of reducing the risk of enamel weakening,”