Check for number 3 and 7 and get rid of 'emAnother reason to get rid of plastic! You know, because they odds aren't already stacked against us enough, now a study has come out that indicates exposure to BPA (bisphenol A) can inhibit pregnancy. Since women are choosing to have babies later and later in life, that means the longer you have BPA exposure, the less likely you are to become pregnant. FAAAAAABULOUS.
In 2008, the FDA conducted studies on BPA and deemed it safe. Because industrial chemicals MUST be okay in food-related materials. And there have been no studies that prove BPA is harmful to children or adults. Until now, that is.
What the researchers found was that mice who were exposed to varying levels of a BPA-enhanced solution had less "pups" than the BPA-free mothers. And the pups that nursed from BPA-enhanced mothers (and also had exposure in the womb) were also less likely to have as many offspring. Previous studies only looked at whether or not the animals had difficulty getting pregnant on the first try.
Now, this particular study was done with mice (big surprise there) and we all know that mice are JUST LIKE HUMANS. As one researcher noted, these studies indicate that since BPA levels are on the rise in test animals, it must be on the rise in humans. They aren't exactly sure, since humans don't want to volunteer for some of these studies. For some strange reason. Hmmm.
So far, BPA exposure has already been linked to cancers, developmental problems, and behavioral issues. And BPA can interfere with hormones, like estrogen. And estrogen is kind of important to have babies, so that's bad. And since women are choosing to have babies later these days, and it is already more difficult to conceive after 35 (that's advanced maternal age, to you!), that's also not so good. The studies are showing that the reproductive decline is actually starting closer to 30. Which means more couples (or singles, as the case may be) may have fertility problems. Because of BPA. And we're still allowed to use it! Hooray!
So, you now have another reason to avoid cash register receipts, canned food, and beverages, kitchenware, plastic bottles, and DVDs (LE GASP!). And don't use worn or scratched baby bottles or cups. And it turns out there may be trace amounts of BPA in liquid formula sold in cans. Also? Don't heat containers that should NOT be heated, do not put plastics in the dishwasher that are not dishwasher safe and get rid of old plastic containers, since they are more likely to cause BPA exposure. Plastics marked with 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 are unlikely to have BPA but 3 and 7 are BAD, mmkay?
What do you think of BPA? Should it be banned?
Image via Marj Hatzell