This ‘evil’ plastic component has once again been linked to gestation trouble: a new study from Stanford University (US) reveals that women with high levels of BPA in their blood had an 80% increased risk of miscarrying.
“Most miscarriages are due to egg or chromosome problems, and a study in mice suggested BPA might influence that risk,” said researcher Ruth Lathi, a Stanford University reproductive endocrinologist. Yale researchers previously showed that BPA jumbles up the mice’s genetic chemistry resulting in a “permanent and irreversible” fertility loss.
Guys (and everyone else) should be concerned as well Separate research showed that exposure to similar plastic components could cause a 20% drop in male fertility.
With a federal grant, the researchers analysed blood samples of 114 newly pregnant women who had a history of infertility or miscarriage. These women were then divided into four groups depending on the BPA levels in their serum.
Despite being of a similar age, women with the highest level of BPA had a whopping 80% increased risk of miscarriage compared to those in the lowest level group.
The exact mechanism by which BPA increases risk of miscarriage has not been elucidated yet and the scientists urge for further studies.
“It may be that women with higher BPA levels do have other risk factors for miscarriage that might be amplified by BPA,” Lathi explained. Plus, according to the authors, women with the highest levels of BPA may metabolise the chemical differently, causing it to remain in the body longer.
The findings were presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual conference in Boston.
What can you do to avoid BPA?
“It’s impossible to avoid it completely,” Lathi said. However, she advises women who want to minimise their exposure to BPA to:
- Avoid cooking or warming foods in plastic containers – the heat can cause any BPA present in the plastic to leak out in the food.
- Keep plastic containers in the sun.
- Limit consumption of canned foods.
- Avoid handling cash register receipts – these are often coated with a BPA-containing resin.
Best storage containers: Glass or stainless steel ones.
Best cookware: Cast iron pots or stainless steel pans.
What about water bottles?
“The plastic material used to contain naturally-sourced bottled waters found on UK supermarket shelves is made of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate),” the NHC told The Independent. “There is no Bisphenol A (BPA) in PET plastic.”
The NHC (Natural Hydration Council) represents producers of naturally-sourced bottled water in the UK.
Nepomnaschy et al (2006) Cortisol levels and very early pregnancy loss in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 103(10):3938–3942.