Chemicals in food packaging may harm unborn babies: Study

Fears surrounding the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) have been reignited following the publication of a new US study that has identified risks to unborn babies.

BPA has attracted much attention over the last few years, amid fear that it might be harmful to the health of babies when the chemical is present in baby bottles.

The new study, however, has suggested that unborn babies might be at greater risk via the mother’s diet.

Conducted at the University of Missouri in the US, the author of the study, Associate Professor Cheryl Rosenfeld, has found that the testosterone production of unborn babies may be affected by exposure to BPA.

The researchers conducting the experiment fed pregnant mice small amounts of BPA and tested the navigational abilities of male offspring when they became sexually mature.

"The males that were exposed to BPA performed at a worse rate than those that were not exposed to BPA” Prof. Rosenfeld said.

The use of BPA in baby bottles has already been banned in some countries and some companies begun to remove BPA from their products.

In light of the new research, Prof. Rosenfeld has urged more research to be done into the effect of BPA before birth rather than just after birth.

She says there needs to be regulation to make it mandatory for companies to display whether or not their products contain BPA.

Scientific research has been published supporting both sides of the argument, rending the issue quite inconclusive and leading national health policies to vacillate with each new set of findings. 


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