BPA A Serious Risk To Pregnant Women

New study out of California warns pregnant women of a serious risk posted by heated plastic


A new study out of Stanford University in California found a shockingly high increase in the risk of miscarriage to women who are exposed to certain chemicals.

In fact, the study said that a whopping 80-percent of women increased their miscarriage risk when they commonly heated plastic containers in the microwave, eat canned food or handle, of all things, cash register receipts. BPA, the study found, seems to be a common denominator in the blood streams of women who have suffered miscarriages.

The study, which was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual conference in Boston, focused on a test group of just 114 women. The correlation, according to the study’s lead researcher, was striking.

The new study on 114 pregnant women found that those with the high concentrations of the compound in their blood were 80-percent more likely than those with low or normal levels to suffer a miscarriage.

Lead author Dr. Ruth Lathi, reproductive endocrinologist at Stanford University said: "This is important because miscarriage is a very common occurrence and human exposure to BPA is near-ubiquitous,” explained an article that appeared in The Telegraph on Friday.

BPA is everywhere.  Avoiding it is near impossible. We know it's no longer in baby bottles. But I would be surprised if most people know the substance is found in the coating of cash register receipts.

The study recommends against pregnant women and both men and women trying to conceive, to avoid canned food and microwave dinners and bottled water that may have been exposed to the sun, as much as possible. Avoiding BPA might be impossible but, according to the researchers, limiting exposure is your best defence.

"Avoid canned food, avoid cooking or heating plastic and then avoid unnecessary cash register receipts. Those are simple things that don’t cost a lot of money and are easy to do," said Dr Lathi.

I would argue that with such a small data set and such a high prominence of BPA in our environment, there are too many other controls that would be necessary to solidify, at least for me, that BPA is the exclusive and predominant risk factor in the miscarriages researched for this study.

More studies need to be done on a greater scale to determine if factors including pollution, diet, genetics, and a host of other possible common risk factors exacerbated the risk posed to these women.

Regardless, that BPA, especially when heated, poses a risk to our health is not news. That it might have a hand in lost pregnancies may be at least one more piece of the puzzle to help would–be parents increase their chances of carrying a pregnancy. 

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