BPA May Harm Developing Fetus

We just wrote that a recent study revealed that that most babies—nine of 10—are born with the industrial chemical <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">bisphenol A—BPA—in their systems. Now, the Vancouver Sun is reporting that BPA, which is seemingly ever-present in many commonly used products, could be causing harm to fetus development in pregnant women.

Developed in the 1930s, the estrogenic mimicker appears to wreak havoc on the body’s’ endocrine system. Today, in urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent. To also be found in the majority of newborns, is worrisome, at best.

The research team from the Universite de Sherbrooke found that BPA harms placental stem cells which nourish the developing baby, said the Vancouver Sun. Of note, this study is the first that looked at BPA on the cells that attach the growing fetus to its mothers uterus, cytotrophoblasts, explained the Vancouver Sun, bringing up the issue of BPA harm occurring before birth. Until now, consumer and environmental advocates have been voicing concern over the damage BPA can cause in children and infants. Now, it seems, the damage can be occurring earlier and irrevocably.

“Very low concentrations (of BPA) that are a hundredth of what is found in the blood of pregnant women can affect … the development of the fetus,” said a co-author of the study, Aziz Aris, quoted the Vancouver Sun.

BPA has been connected to increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and links with serious health problems. Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations. Recent reports link high levels of exposure to BPA to erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems in males.

The estrogenic, industrial chemical, a polycarbonate plastic byproduct, is not only worrisome because of its connection to a wide variety of adverse health events, but also because of the chemical’s overwhelming and growing ubiquity. BPA can be found in everything from baby bottles; sippy cup: water bottles; aluminum can linings; eyeglasses; cars; DVD and CD cases; some dental sealants; appliances; windshields; and common paper receipts, to name just some. The Vancouver Sun noted that BPA can also be found in the plastic lining of frozen food dinners. On recyclable bottles, BPA, as a component, can be verified if the item contains recycling number 7.

“Research has shown that BPA is capable of easily crossing the placenta into the fetus,” said Aris, reported the Vancouver Sun. Aris is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology. “Our results show that doses of BPA from 0.0002 to 0.2 micrograms per millilitre, which are close to levels of BPA found in circulation of pregnant women, are cytotoxic,” the study concluded, quoted the Vancouver Sun. Aris also pointed out that BPA exposure in pregnant women might have something to do with the increase in miscarriages.

Canada was the first country to name BPA hazardous to human health and banned its use in baby bottles in 2008, said the Vancouver Sun. Study results appear in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

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