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BPA May Lower Essential Hormones in Pregnant Women and Baby Boys

Supported in part by research at the EPA/NIEHS Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley, a new study appears to link the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), to changes in thyroidal hormonal levels in pregnant women and infant boys. The study, published in this week’s Environmental Health Perspectivessuggests that BPA, which has many similarities to estrogen, may lead to reduced thyroid hormone production in infant boys and their mothers.

Video from NBC Nighly News
Aired on October 4, 2012

BPA linked to lower thyroid hormone levels

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Video from KGO-TV San Francisco, CA
Aired on October 4, 2012

Cal study links BPA to thyroid hormone changes

BPA is a common chemical used in many kinds of plastics for both industrial and commercial products and has been linked to health concerns including cognitive and motor developmental delays in children. The FDA recently banned its use in baby bottles, a previously self-enforced ban by bottle makers.

The researchers used data from 335 pregnant women collected as part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study run by the Children’s Center. Researchers examined samples from the mother’s during the second half of their pregnancy and from their new children within a few days of birth. The researchers found a correlation between BPA exposure and decreased hormone levels. Researchers aren’t sure why only the newborn boys showed a drop in thyroid levels and not girls although BPA has been proven to affect males and females differently.

Even small changes in thyroid levels can affect the brain’s development and although most of the women were not dangerously low in their hormonal levels, the paper’s authors think it may be indicative of a more serious population trend.

EPA committed to supporting children’s environmental health, has in a joint program with NIEHS, awarded research grants establishing over a dozen Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Research Centers around the country. Scientists at these centers work to understand how vehicle exhaust, chemicals, diet, social and other factors impact children’s health. Their research is a key component in the EPA’s long-term campaign to improve the lives of children around the nation.

For more info on this study: Maternal Urinary Bisphenol A during Pregnancy and Maternal and Neonatal Thyroid Function in the CHAMACOS Study

For more info on this research see: Centers of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research

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