Pregnant

The results of a recent study conducted in California found traces of BPA (bisphenol A) in 100 percent of umbilical cord samples taken from pregnant women.

A harmful and controversial chemical, BPA is used in a number of products including canned foods and plastic containers. Its effects include hormone disruption and excessive amounts of estrogen-mimicking properties that have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues. The study, which was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is the first of its kind to look at second-trimester fetuses and the results concluded “universal fetal exposure.”

According to Environmental Health News, “the scientists sampled cord blood from the fetuses of 85 women who had undergone elective abortions at a San Francisco clinic that serves Northern and Central California.” Of the samples, three had BPA levels higher than any other reports on fetal samples, and 36 percent had levels that were comparable to or higher than BPA levels connected with significant developmental effects in animal studies.

“Our findings suggest universal fetal exposure to BPA in our study population, with some at relatively high levels, and we provide the first evidence of detectable BPA sulfate in mid-gestation fetuses,” wrote the scientists from University of California, San Francisco and Washington State University.

Even at low dose exposure, BPA, which is banned or strictly regulated in several countries including China, France and Canada, can show significant threats to behavior and neurological development. And, according to EHN, “the National Toxicology Program, based on the animal experiments, concluded that there is “some concern” for brain, behavior and prostate effects in infants and children.”

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Image: Phillippe Put