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Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to improve the durability of materials without adding weight, is a current topic of environmental and health concern. BPA is found in everything from polycarbonate plastics, resins lining food cans and water bottles, dental composites and thermal paper receipts (frequently used in point-of-sale machines).
BPA is a health concern because it is a xenoestrogen, which means that it acts as a hormone in our bodies and disrupts hormonal function. Studies in mice have shown that mothers exposed to BPA during pregnancy gave birth to babies who had critical changes in brain development.
|A recent study published in Pediatrics suggested that female human babies are similarly affected when mothers are exposed to BPA. The study followed women from the second trimester of pregnancy, measuring blood and urine BPA levels during pregnancy. The children were followed and assessed from infancy until the age of eight or nine. Behavioural issues (like difficulty sitting still, needing to be redirected frequently, or talking about being sad or depressed) were associated with those children whose mothers had higher urinary BPA concentrations during pregnancy. Interestingly, however, the results were not the same across the sexes—only girls seemed to be affected by these behavourial and emotional changes.It is important to minimize exposure to BPA and other xenoestrogens at all times, but increased awareness is necessary during pregnancy. Options for avoiding BPA include the following:
Taking small measures to understand and avoid BPA sources during your pregnancy will help to support the development of a healthy and happy baby, girl or boy.