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Bisphenol A or BPA is considered an endocrine disruptor because it can mimic estrogen. New research suggests exposure to BPA during pregnancy may also have an impact on the thyroid gland.

BPA in Mothers: the CHAMACOS Study:

Scientists measured BPA levels in pregnant women living in Salinas, California. They then tested the mothers and their newborn babies for thyroid function to see if BPA disrupts thyroid hormones.

Higher BPA levels in the second half of pregnancy were associated with lower levels of thyroid hormone (T4) in the women. Male infants had lower TSH levels when their mother’s level of BPA was elevated late in pregnancy. A lower level of TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, is associated with higher levels of circulating thyroid hormone. Appropriate levels of thyroid hormone are critical for the normal development of babies in utero and as newborns.

Learning About BPA:

BPA is a plasticizer found in polycarbonate containers and the linings of cans, cash register receipts and water supply pipes. You can read more about what we have written regarding BPA here and here.

We have done several radio shows on the topic of endocrine disruptors. The most recent is Show 974: Toxin Toxout with Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith.

Environmental Health Perspectives, January 2013

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  1. Penny H.

    My question is – how long has BPA been in use? I have had breast cancer twice and have been on thyroid medication for almost 50 years. I started avoiding canned goods as well as plastic containers about a year ago but I know that plastic pipes may contain BPA and wonder if I should start using bottled water. Also, I live in a retirement community and they serve a meal for residents daily. I try to avoid anything I think might come from cans such as tomato sauces that contain crushed or diced tomatoes but it is hard to determine what other canned goods they are using.

  2. adc

    Has any research gone into discovering if BPA is present in the poly bags that we buy for food storage or the plastic wrap we use to cover foods? I’m interested as I have been trying to stop using plastic containers, but have wondered about this other form of plastic many of us use on a daily basis.

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