BPA Levels Higher in Pregnant Cashiers, Those Who Eat Canned Vegetables

The controversial and ubiquitous chemical, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A (BPA) is showing up in women who are pregnant and are cashier workers, exposed to tobacco smoke, or who consume a lot of canned foods, according to an emerging study, writes WebMD.

The study, which appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, stated that urinary BPA levels rose and fell during pregnancy, said WebMD. “There has been a lot of effort to reduce exposure in children’s products, whether toys or baby bottles, but fetuses can also be vulnerable to these toxins. So if we are really concerned about exposure, we need to reduce exposure during the fetal period as well,” said study researcher Joe M. Braun, PhD, a research fellow in the department of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Hundreds of studies have linked BPA to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy, premature puberty, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems. BPA is found in the bodies of 93 percent of Americans and 90 percent of American newborns.

Despite ongoing reports about the potential health hazards of BPA, the estrogenic, polycarbonate plastic can be found in everything from food and beverage can linings, to water bottles, to sippy cups. Most recently, we have been writing about the implications of BPA in thermal paper receipts.

For this study, “researchers measured BPA levels in the urine of 386 pregnant women at 16 … and 26 weeks, and … within a day of delivery,” wrote WebMD. Most women—90 percent—measured with detectable BPA urine levels at 16 and 26 weeks; 87.1 percent had detectable levels at delivery, said Web MD.

Of note, women exposed to tobacco smoke tested with BPA levels about 20 percent higher than women not exposed to the chemical, explained WebMD. Cashier workers had the greatest BPA concentrations, implicating BPA on thermal paper receipts. Also, women who ate canned vegetables once daily tested with higher BPA levels than women who did not eat canned vegetables, explained WebMD.

BPA is known to imitate the hormone estrogen. Acting as an anti-androgen—substances that block hormone activity—BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. Professor David Melzer, a scientist at Exeter University described BPA as “gender bending,” calling for BPA to undergo the same safety trials as emerging medications.

A number of entities, states, and countries have implemented bans and restrictions on BPA in certain products, including Connecticut; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Vermont; Wisconsin; and Washington; Suffolk Counties and other counties in New York state; Canada; Denmark: France; Australia; and New Zealand.

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