Don’t freak out or anything, but a new study says that high levels of BPA might raise the risk of miscarriage in women prone to that problem or having trouble getting pregnant.
BPA, short for bisphenol-A, is a chemical used to make many plastics and canned food linings. The chemical has been removed from baby bottles and many reusable drink containers in recent years although the federal Food and Drug Administration says BPA is safe as used now in other food containers.
The reason I tell you not to freak out is there hasn’t been enough research done to say that BPA exposure and miscarriages are linked — just that there is “the biological plausibility” that BPA might affect fertility and other aspects of health.
As Yahoo Shine! reports, “most miscarriages are due to egg or chromosome problems, and a study in mice suggested BPA might influence that risk.” Dr. Ruth Lathi, a Stanford University reproductive endocrinologist, along with other researchers, studied 115 newly pregnant women with a history of infertility or miscarriage; 68 wound up having miscarriages and 47 had live births. Here’s how the study worked:
Researchers analyzed blood samples from when the women were discovered to be pregnant and divided them into four groups based on BPA levels. Women in the top quarter had an 80 percent greater risk of miscarriage compared to those in the bottom group even though they were similar in age and other factors. However, because the study is relatively small, there was a big range of possible risk — from only slightly elevated to as much as 10 times higher.”It may be that women with higher BPA levels do have other risk factors” for miscarriage that might be amplified by BPA, Lathi said.
The bottom line: the study shouldn’t be cause for alarm but doesn’t make us feel much better about BPA, especially for women hoping to get pregnant. To limit your exposure to BPA:
- Plastic containers have recycle codes on the bottom. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
- Do not put very hot or boiling liquid that you intend to consume in plastic containers made with BPA. BPA levels rise in food when containers/products made with the chemical are heated and come in contact with the food.
- Discard all bottles with scratches, as these may harbor bacteria and, if BPA-containing, lead to greater release of BPA.
For more information on how to avoid BPA check out The Daily Green.
Image source: Monica Bielanko
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