Pregnant moms are bombarded with rules about their health from beginning to end. There are rules about seafood, soft cheese, drinking alcohol and even getting into a Jacuzzi. But with all these things to remember, no one saw this coming: Pregnant moms are now being warned to avoid BPA exposure in order to protect their baby from a lifetime of obesity and other permanent effects of the chemical in their body. Thankfully, Mamavation has done some research to help moms find where the BPA is hiding in their pantry.
Researchers at Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health found an association between Bisphenol A, or BPA, exposure in pregnant women and fat levels in their children by age 7. The report was published Tuesday online on Environmental Health Perspectives.
The Story on BPA
BPA was banned in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012 after many companies had already taken out the endocrine-disrupting chemical. BPA has been linked to infertility, obesity, diabetes, early puberty, behavioral changes in children, and some cancers. BPA is currently used in many products people use every day, including food cans, polycarbonate plastic containers, and thermal store receipts.
The Study: BPA Exposure
The study on BPA exposure tested urine samples from 369 mother and child pairs from the ongoing inner city New York cohort study by CCCAH. The mothers, and then the children at ages 3 and 5 had urine tests. Then testing including biomedical index Z-score (BMIZ) at ages 5 and 7, then fat mass index, percent body fat and waist circumferences at age 7. After they adjusted for socioeconomic and environmental factors, the researchers found that children that were exposed to higher levels of BPA had more body fat.
Alarmingly, there was a stronger association between BPA exposure and mass index and waist circumference in girls.
What Does That Mean?
It means that contact with endocrine disruptors begins before your children are born and the affects can follow them for a lifetime, possibly affecting how their fat cells are formed as they develop.
It means there’s even more reason to worry for many pregnant mothers as the FDA upholds its positive position on the endocrine-disrupting chemical in food containers.
What Can You Do About It?
BPA is so many places, but there are many ways to reduce your exposure to it.
To avoid BPA exposure:
- Use glass containers for drinking and heating food;
- Refuse thermal receipts at the register;
- Pick fresh and frozen food when possible;
- Ensure your aluminum bottle was not coasted with epoxy resin that will leach BPA;
- Avoid using plastics with a 3 or 7 on it, which can include cling wrap, children’s toys, shower curtains, and water bottles and certain food containers. Check out Mamavation’s lists of plastics to avoid here, and
- Don’t trust the BPA-free label and do your own research for ingredients. Using a BPA-free label may mean using BPS, considered a safe choice because it was considered resistant to leaching even though it was also shown to be an endocrine disruptor. However, plastics have been showing to leach the replacement BPS.
Tell us what you think about this study. Does it concern you? Do you want to see more peer review before you make a decision? Do you feel like this link to obesity is going to develop into more that we didn’t know? Share below.