Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in numerous household products, including plastic water bottles and canned food linings. Researchers are increasingly concerned about the effect BPA has on human health and have long-suspected that BPA may be affecting hormone levels in children and pregnant women. A new study out of UC Berkeley appears to definitively show a clear link between BPA and thyroid hormone changes in infant boys and pregnant women, say researchers.
“Researchers continue to study how BPA can affect the health of women and children,” cautions John Hale, Waxahachie personal injury attorney. “The long-lasting effects are still not known.” Thyroid hormones affect the growth and brain development of infants and young children.
The study looked at women in California’s Central Valley. Study co-author and Associate Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, Kim Harley, cautioned that there is still a great deal more to study regarding BPA and its potentially long-lasting effects. According to numerous studies, more than 90 percent of U.S. women in their child-bearing years that have been tested have levels of BPA in their urine.
The researchers analyzed the levels of BPA in samples from 335 women: most of the women and their children had thyroid levels which tested in the normal range, but for each woman who had a doubling of BPA level, researchers found that there was a corresponding decrease in T4, a thyroid hormone. For children, the opposite was true: for each child with a mother who had a high level of BPA, the child had an increase in thyroid activity. While more studies need to be completed, the current theory is that a lack of thyroid hormone in the mother may trigger thyroid overcompensation in the child.
The estrogen-like chemical is found in many plastic products, including drinking bottles, baby bottles, and dental sealants, as well as in the lining of cans for food and beverages, and in some sales receipt paper. Due to growing health concerns, BPA has been banned in the use of manufacturing in California since 2011, and this July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of the chemical in child sippy cups and baby bottles.