More reason to stay away from BPA whenever you can especially from kids.
New research finds that bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like compound has been linked to changes in thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women and newborn boys.
The research comes from according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
Normal thyroid function is essential to the healthy growth and cognitive development of fetuses and children. Yet, until this study, little was known about the effects of BPA exposure on thyroid hormones in pregnant women and newborns.
The new findings add to the wide spread concerns about BPA, a chemical found in hard plastics, linings of canned food, dental sealants, and sales receipts on thermal paper, which is coated with a chemical that changes color when exposed to heat.
BPA Concerns Grow
In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially banned the chemical in baby bottles and cups, something the industry began doing voluntarily in recent years in response to consumer concerns about the potential risks of BPA.
The researchers analyzed BPA levels in the urine samples of 335 women during the second half of pregnancy, and thyroid hormone levels in blood samples taken from the mothers during pregnancy and from the newborns within a few days of birth. The participants were part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study led by Brenda Eskenazi, UC Berkeley professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health.
Significant Increase in BPA Levels
The researchers found that for each doubling of BPA levels, there was an associated decrease of 0.13 micrograms per deciliter of total thyroxine (T4) in mothers during pregnancy, which suggests a hypothyroid effect. For newborn boys, each doubling of BPA levels linked to a 9.9 percent decrease in thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), indicating a hyperthyroid effect.
Impact on Child’s Development
The researchers pointed out that several studies in recent years have linked lower thyroid hormone levels to delays in cognitive and motor development in young children. Two years ago, the same group of UC Berkeley researchers also found links between PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), a class of flame retardants, and changes in thyroid hormone levels.
They were confident that the BPA was acting on thyroid hormones independently from PBDEs, because levels of the two compounds were not correlated.