Common plastic linked to hormonal imbalance

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As if we needed more news like this: more substances in common household items are thought to cause epigenetic changes that may lead to permanent reproductive disorders in girls.

Research published online at the FASEB Journal shows that early exposure to the plastic Bisphenol A (BPA) may cause birth defects in female offspring. BPA is a common component of plastics used to contain food. It is an extremely common estrogen found in the environment. Water bottles, baby bottles, epoxy resin to coat food cans, and dental sealants may all contain BPA.

“Exposure to BPA may be harmful during pregnancy; this exposure may permanently affect the fetus,” said Hugh S. Taylor, PhD, co-author of the study from Yale University School of Medicine. He and his colleagues came to this conclusion after exposing fetal mice to BPA and examining gene expression and DNA in the uteruses of the female fetuses, so pre-birth. The epigenetic changes apparently caused by the BPA exposure continued throughout the life of the female.

The exposure permanently effected the uterus by decreasing regulation of gene expression. What does that mean? The mice over-responded to estrogen throughout their lives. Estrogen sensitivity can lead to fertility problems, advanced puberty, altered mammary development and reproductive function, as well as some cancers.

“We need to better identify the effects of environmental contaminants on not just crude measures such as birth defects, but also their effect in causing more subtle developmental errors,” stated Dr. Taylor.

Source: FASEB, Medical News Today


 
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