The Perils of Bisphenol A: What You Need to Know

Can BPA Affect Pregnancy?

When a pregnant woman consumes BPA-tainted products, the chemical crosses the placenta and reaches the baby. Research shows this may affect fetal development. For example, daughters of women with high concentrations of BPA in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to exhibit aggressive and hyperactive behaviors, according to a 2009 study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Very early life is when many of our organs are being built and processes are being set," says pediatrician Alan Greene, author of Feeding Baby Green. "So the biggest concerns we have about BPA are before birth, when the reproductive organs and lifelong sensitivities to different hormones are being set."

However, the National Toxicology Program has cited "negligible concern" that BPA exposure in utero will result in fetal mortality, birth defects or growth retardation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there isn't enough scientific evidence to conclude that exposure in the womb is dangerous, and has asked for more research to be done on the topic.

What Are the Health Risks of BPA Exposure in Children?

The exact impact of BPA exposure in children is unclear. Available evidence indicates "some concern" over the behavioral and neural effects of BPA on fetuses, infants and children, according to the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Tests on laboratory animals have shown BPA exposure can increase the risk of early puberty in girls, of behavior-related disorders such as ADHD and even diabetes and obesity, says Dr. Greene.

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