Photo via Flickr: Stevendepolo

Photo via Flickr: Stevendepolo

Today on HuffPost, I highlight just how ubiquitous the toxic packaging additive bisphenol A (BPA) has become. The good news is that there’s been a lot of press about banning the suspected endocrine disruptor from baby products like bottles and sippy cups, and a number of cities and states have managed to do just that — even the FDA has reversed its stance on the chemical, saying it is now “taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply.”

But what about the thousands of other products with BPA (canned goods, credit card receipts, plastic food containers, even dental appliances like night guards) that we adults come in contact with every day? This is scary stuff, and the chance for cumulative exposure is high. Moreover, the diseases linked to BPA exposure are equally as scary: heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, to name a few.

Now, a study published yesterday by Canadian researchers reveals that those most at risk may not even be able to limit their own exposure: I’m talking about babies who have yet to be born. It turns out that human placental cells die or are severely damaged after being exposed to even very low doses of BPA.

From Enviromental Health News:

The researchers obtained placentas from five women who had normal pregnancies and deliveries. Human cytotrophoblast cells were collected from the placentas and cultured. This type of placental cell is important for the exchange of oxygen, nutrients and waste products between mother and fetus.

The cells were exposed to BPA for 24 hours at one of seven different concentrations, ranging from 0.002 to 200 micrograms per milliliter (µg/ml). These doses were selected because they approximate levels of BPA measured in fetal and maternal blood. The researchers then looked to see if BPA exposure damaged the cells.

…Damage to the cell membrane was 1.3 to 1.7 times higher in placental cells exposed to BPA for 24 hours compared to cells that were not exposed to BPA. Apoptosis [cell death] was 2 to 3 times higher in the BPA treated cells. These results indicate that cellular development was adversely affected by BPA.

In layman’s terms, this means that for a pregnant woman, exposure to BPA — even at low levels — could potentially damage placental cells and impact fetal development.

–Jennifer Grayson

Do this now: If you’re pregnant, it’s prudent to take extra steps to minimize BPA exposure. Avoid canned foods, soups, and beverages (except those from Eden Organic); don’t use a plastic food storage container without first contacting the company to see if it contains BPA; and use a stainless steel reusable bottle to stay hydrated when you’re on the go.

Related posts:
Dr. McDougall’s BPA-free, vegan soups
Consumer Reports finds BPA in 19 name-brand canned foods

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One Response to “Study reveals BPA may damage human placental cells”

  1. BPA in toilet paper and pizza boxes? Says:

    […] be before it gets pulled off the market? Messing up our endocrine system is not enough? How about heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. I scoffed recently when FDA finally reversed its opinion and said it is now “taking reasonable […]

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