BPA, or bisphenol-A, is a chemical compound found in polycarbonate plastics and resins that line food and drink containers. Plastic baby bottles, teething rings, baby toys and canned foods have all been found to contain levels of BPA. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long contended that low levels of BPA do not cause harm to humans. But a new study published this month in Environmental Health Perspectives found that they may not necessarily be the case.
In this study, mother rats were fed BPA in order to expose their nursing young to the compound through breast milk. The concentrations of BPA used — 25 and 250 micrograms BPA per kilogram of body weight/day — are similar to that of estimated BPA exposure of preschool children. This low concentration was even less than the EPA's "safe" reference dose of 50 micrograms BPA per kilogram/body weight.
The study found that early developmental exposure to BPA can can have long lasting and adverse health effects on developing babies. Most disturbing is the conclusion that a mother's exposure to BPA during lactation increases her daughter’s chances of breast tumors.
Don't wait for the government to step in to protect your family from BPA. Check out this post on making your home BPA-free.