LiveScience via Yahoo News reported yesterday that the common plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to miscarriage risks in pregnant women.
The study is to be presented at the meeting of International Federation of Fertility Societies and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Boston. In order to determine a link, scientists collected blood samples from 114 different women between 4 and 5 weeks of pregnancy.
After dividing their sample population into groups, researchers concluded that women who had the highest BPA levels were 80 percent more likely to have a first-trimester miscarriage than the group with the lowest BPA levels. However, the study failed to conclusively prove that BPA was the cause of miscarriages because other variables may have been at work.
Although BPA could not be proven to be a miscarriage cause, the scientists also analyzed miscarried fetal chromosomes, discovering that BPA exposure increased the risk of both genetically normal and abnormal miscarriages. Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, medical director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System of New York, said that "Given how widespread its use is…I think we have to take these kind of studies very seriously, and make sure we're doing everything we can to better characterize the risk."
Dr. Ruth Lathi, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University's Medical Center and one of the study's authors, said "I don't want to alarm prospective parents... Lots of women with detectable [BPA] levels have healthy babies [and] there is no harm in trying to reduce [BPA] exposures."
BPA slowly leeches into the food and beverages contained in plastic and cans. Dr. Lathi has several recommendations for those who would seek to lower their risk:
• Avoid cooking in plastic, because BPA can leech into the food as a result of high temperatures.
• Avoid canned food, as BPA may lurk in the lining.
• Don't drink water from that bottle you left in your car in the hot sun. The sun has caused the BPA in your water bottle to leech into the water!
• Try to avoid plastics with recycling code numbers 3, 6, and 7 as these are most likely to contain BPA.