BPA can Harm Brain Development of Unborn Babies: Study

If you or someone you know is pregnant, listen up:  Like researchers before them that found a link between BPA and harm to the developing brain, scientists have recently demonstrated that the direct transmission of bisphenol A (BPA) from a mother to her developing child via the placenta could negatively impact fetal brain development.  In the U.S. the endocrine disrupting chemical BPA*–and its evil twin BPS *(commonly seen on food and product packaging touting it is “BPA Free”)–are not banned and still make an appearance in food and beverage containers (including plastic water bottles and the epoxy coating of metal food cans), personal products, some dental applications and cash register/ATM receipts, among other sources. When mothers-to-be are exposed, both BPA and BPS (from the same chemical family) have been linked to problems with brain development and IQ, and BPA (which has had a much longer period of time to have been studied by scientists) is linked with numerous other health-related problems including IBD, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, asthma/respiratory problems,  and reproductive problems, to name a few.

Study overview

How the placenta responds to toxicants like BPA during pregnancy can lead to long-term health consequences:  scientists focused on the role of microRNAs within the placenta, which are known to be key mediators in regulating cellular functions, including neural development, and the identification of certain markers for cancer.

Scientists suspect the microRNAs are playing a role in how the effects of BPA exposure can lead to neurological disorders later in life:

“These microRNAs can be packaged inside extracellular vesicles and can be transported to distant organs within the body. We’re assuming that by changing the pattern of microRNAs in the placenta, these small molecules can then reach the brain, resulting in harmful effects. Even before the brain’s neurons are developed, these microRNA packages may already be guiding fetal brain development. These changes may even be different in female versus male fetuses.”

-Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, researcher and professor of biomedical sciences

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Avoid highly processed foods–and their containers–including takeout containers at restaurants. Avoid canned foods (especially tomato-based foods which are highly acidic and can cause more BPA/BPS chemicals to leach into the food) and choose fresh food or frozen food instead. Never microwave food in plastic containers–always transfer the food to glass before heating. Throw out old, cracked or yellowed plastic food storage containers. Avoid touching cash register and/or ATM receipts. Talk with your dentist about BPA-Free and BPS-Free alternatives.  Never drink from plastic water bottles that have been heated up in the sun, car or other location as BPA and BPS can leach from the bottle into the beverage.

*Our previous publications: Scientific study findings on the health dangers of BPA and BPS:

Even Low Levels of BPA Harms Developing Brain’s Sleep Center: Study

Alarming Brain Damage Risk from BPA and BPS, say scientists

BPA-Free? More Scientists find that BPA Substitutes are Worse

Don’t Touch That Receipt! Toxic BPS Chemical Contaminates like BPA

BPA-Free Containers Dangerous to the Developing Brain, say scientists

BPA Triggers Allergic Asthma that can Last for 3 Generations

Consumer BPA Exposure Much Higher than Originally Thought

BPA Exposure in Pregnancy Linked to Lung Problems in Children

Exposure in Pregnancy to BPA Linked to Ovarian Problems for Offspring

BPA-Replacement Plastics for Food-Drink Likely Unsafe, say researchers

IBD and BPA: A Risky Combination

Chemical in Canned Dog Food Leads to High Levels of BPA in Dogs: Study

Toxic Food Packaging Chemical BPA Still Present in US Canned Goods

Big Food’s Challenge for Ditching BPA

Autism Linked to Toxic Chemicals in Household Products, Personal Care Products and Food: Study

FDA Refuses to Ban Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in food and personal care products linked with female reproductive health problems

Journal Reference:  Jiude Mao, Jessica A Kinkade, Nathan J Bivens, Cheryl S Rosenfeld. miRNA changes in the mouse placenta due to bisphenol A exposure. Epigenomics, 2021; 13 (24): 1909 DOI: 10.2217/epi-2021-0339