The Food and Drug Administration considers the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) to pose minimal risks to health, and continues to allow it in many plastic containers, the lining of food cans, and other products. But there is enough data to raise concerns about BPA exposure during pregnancy, according to a new study co-authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.
The study, published in the journal Reproduction, suggests prenatal BPA exposure can affect ovarian development, which could then raise the risk of infertility and ovulation disorders.
“We found there is mounting evidence for the effects of these exposures in the prenatal period, a particularly vulnerable time of development,” says study co-author Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah, assistant professor of epidemiology at BUSPH. “Whether there are causative associations with human ovulation disorders needs to be further studied.”
Ovarian development and function represent a complex coordination of processes, starting early in prenatal development. Early aberrations have the potential to carry through the reproductive lifespan, says Dr. Mahalingaiah, who is also an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine.
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