Fetal Exposure to BPA May Increase Breast Cancer Risks

Not surprisingly, another study has linked bisphenol A—BPA—to serious adverse reactions. This time, the ubiquitous polycarbonate plastics chemical has been linked to increases in breast cancer risks. The study has been accepted for publication in the journal of The Endocrine Society, Molecular Endocrinology.

The study revealed that “perinatal exposure to environmentally relevant doses” of BPA change long-term hormonal response and breast development that could increase the likelihood of developing cancer, said Science Daily. The study was conducted on mice. BPA, as Science Daily noted and we’ve previously written, was developed as an estrogenic compound. Since, experts have been concerned that the chemical could have adverse developmental effects on any number of organs that are “hormone responsive,” such as the mammary glands, said Science Daily.

“I want it to be clear that we do not provide evidence that BPA exposure causes breast cancer per se,” said Cathrin Brisken, MD, of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and study co-author. “We do provide evidence that BPA exposure alters mammary gland development and that this may increase the predisposition of the breast to breast cancer,” Dr. Brisken added, reported Science Daily.

This study involved copying human exposure to BPA in beverage and food from packaging containing BPA by adding the chemical to the drinking water of breeding mice, explained Science Daily. Female pups born to parents who consumed the BPA were moved to an environment free of BPA at weaning; the pups were then studied.

Mammary gland changes in the female pups exposed to BPA via their mothers when in utero and being breastfed, revealed an increased response to progesterone, said Science Daily, which noted that lifetime progesterone exposure has been linked to increased breast cancer risks. Also, adult females exposed to BPA when in utero and breast fed, had a 1.5-fold increase in cell numbers in their milk ducts, said Science Daily, which is similarly seen with exposure to dethyllbestrol (DES), another estrogenic compound. In utero DES exposure in humans has been found to increase breast cancer risks two-fold as women approach their 50s, noted Science Daily.

“Our study suggests that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid exposure to BPA as it may affect their daughters’ breast tissue,” said Dr. Brisken, according to Science Daily.

As we’ve long written, BPA has been found in a growing number of consumer products including food and beverage can linings, CDs and DVDs, dental sealants, nautical resins, thermal receipt paper, and even in canned foods marketed to children. Children, teens, and developing babies are especially vulnerable to the effects of estrogenic, hormone mimickers, such as BPA because of their developing systems, an enormous issue given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently said that about 1 million pounds of BPA are released into the environment annually.

BPA, with its hormone-mimicking properties, interrupts sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children and has been linked to toxic injury and implications in 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 treatment, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems in males as young as the developing fetus.

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