The chemical BPA (bisphenol-a), a popular additive in plastics, has started appearing in infant’s umbilical cord blood, according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group.
The study looked at a small group of African-American, Hispanic and Asian children. They found BPA in the cord blood of 9 out of 10 infants. While this study is too small to draw big conclusions from, it’s certainly cause for alarm and more research.
“Each time we look for the latest chemical of concern in infant cord blood, we find it,” said Anila Jacob, M.D., EWG senior scientist and co-author of the report. “This time we discovered BPA, among other dangerous substances, in almost every infant’s cord blood we tested.”
Labs working with EWG found over 200 additional chemicals in the cord blood they tested. These included:
- a toxic flame retardant chemical called tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) that permeates computer circuit boards
- synthetic fragrances (Galaxolide and Tonalide) used in common cosmetics and detergents
- and perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA, or C4), a member of the Teflon chemical family used to make non-stick and grease-, stain- and water-resistant coatings for cookware, textiles, food packaging and other consumer products.
BPA, an endocrine disruptor, can have a lot of negative health impacts on babies, as this Consumer Reports article outlines. It’s not exactly healthy for adults. It’s been pulled from most baby products, and Nalgene has switched to a BPA free plastic for their bottles. It’s still present in the lining of almost all canned food, though.
Photo: Meutia Chaerani