"Nearly every person on the planet is exposed to BPA and another class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates, so the possibility that these chemicals may even slightly reduce vitamin D levels has widespread implications for public health," said the study's first author, Lauren Johns. Vitamin D plays a key role in the maintenance of muscle and bone health; a severe deficiency in childhood can cause rickets, a disease that results in soft, weak bones and associated deformities. Inadequate sun exposure and nutritional deficiencies are the main causes of rickets, which is rare in Australia but on the rise. Less severe deficiencies have been linked with cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, diabetes and autoimmune conditions. Higher levels of vitamin D may also protect the independence of the elderly. A study of over 2,000 people found that those with vitamin D levels under 50nmol/L had a 29% higher risk of mobility limitation, and a 93% higher risk of mobility disability, than people with levels higher than 75nmol/L. Volunteers whose levels were between 50 and 75nmol/L had a 27% higher risk of limitations and a 30% higher risk of disability.
This study examined data from 4,667 adult volunteers in the