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Health & Pregnancy

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BPA in Pregnancy: Cashiers, Canned Veggie Eaters Beware?

Study Shows Higher Levels of the Chemical Bisphenol A in Pregnant Cashiers and Pregnant Women Exposed to Canned Foods, Tobacco Smoke

Avoid BPA in Pregnancy

"There are behaviors that women have that have a significant influence on the BPA in their bodies when pregnant," says Laura N. Vandenberg, PhD, of the department of biology at Tufts University in Boston. Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke should be avoided during pregnancy, she says. "Reducing canned food use may have an impact on the BPA in the body," she says. It is too early to make any recommendations regarding receipts, she says.

Fred vom Saal, PhD, a professor of reproductive biology and neurobiology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, is less cautious in his BPA avoidance recommendations. "The exposure levels seen in pregnant women in this study could be placing them and their developing fetus in harm’s way," he says.

He suggests steering clear of canned foods unless and until manufacturers eliminate the BPA in their liners. When shopping, "if you don't have to touch the receipt, ask the cashier to throw it away for you," he says, adding that this is something he practices.

Not so fast, says Gilbert Ross, MD, medical director for the American Council on Science and Health, a New York City-based consumer education group. Ross takes issue with the new study findings and says that they do little to advance what is known about BPA and human health.

"Pregnant women excrete tiny, tiny amounts of BPA in their urine, at a variable rate over a day, he says. " These tiny amounts play absolutely no role in their health, nor that of their fetuses and newborns."

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