Food packaging chemical could harm embryos

BPA, a chemical found in the lining of food and drink packaging, may affect the brain development of embryos, Us scientists have discovered.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the lining of some food and drink packaging including plastic bottles and metal cans to extend shelf life and protect against contamination.

According to SMH, a US study has gave the chemical to pregnant mice and then studied the offsprings' neurons.

"Our study found that BPA may impair the development of the central nervous system," said neurologist and lead author Wolfgang Liedtke from Duke University. "[It] raises the question as to whether exposure could predispose animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders."

The amounts of BPA studied didn't reflect normal consumption rates – in fact the study dosages were 20 times higher than the amount approved by Australian, New Zealand and American food standards bodies.

A senior lecturer at Adelaide University's faculty of medicine, Dr Ian Musgrave said that while the findings aren't relevant to human consumption, they are still significant.

"This research shows that if the dose is high enough it can shut down the sodium channel, which is important for brain development" she said.


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