BPA Increases Risk of Genital Birth Defects
Bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure is rampant today, with all the plastic we are handling and using. Now we are finding a number of side effects of this constant exposure to BPA. Research is also showing that BPA exposure in parents can give children genital birth defects.
Genital birth defects relate to defects in the genital or anal regions. These can damage a kids’ life or require major surgery to fix.
BPA studied in boys and parents
Researchers from the California-based Kaiser Foundation Research Institute determined that boys born of parents exposed to occupational levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA) are more likely to have a genital birth defect.
The abnormality is related to a shortening of the anogenital distance, which is the distance measured from the anus and the penis.
The 2011 study was conducted with 153 boys and their parents. Each parents’ BPA exposure was tested by sampling and measuring the BPA levels of the immediate air surrounding the parent while at work.
The boys were tested after birth and cross-referenced to the BPA occupational exposures of both parents.
Of the entire group, 56 of the boys’ parents had occupational BPA exposure during pregnancy and 97 of the boys’ parents did not while the mother was pregnant.
BPA exposure increases birth defect risk
Those boys with parents that had BPA exposure were significantly more likely to have shortened anogenital distance. The boys with mothers with occupational BPA exposure during pregnancy were even more likely to have shortened anogenital distance.
The researchers concluded:
“Our findings provide the first epidemiologic evidence that in utero BPA exposure may adversely affect male genital development.”
While BPA exposure has been shown to affect hormones and other issues among mice and rats, human clinical research has been rare. This study confirms what the animal studies have shown: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an endocrine disruptor that produces numerous changes within the body that can seriously affect metabolism.
Decreased anogenital distance among boys affects the future fertility of the male as an adult, as it is linked to sperm count. Some studies have indicated that it also affects the pelvic floor and symphysis, which can also produce testicular tumors among adults.
In late March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration denied a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to ban BPA in consumer products. Douglas Karas, an FDA spokesman, stated:
“The FDA denied the NRDC petition because it did not have the scientific data needed for the FDA to change current regulations, which allows the use of BPA in food packaging.”
Miao M, Yuan W, He Y, Zhou Z, Wang J, Gao E, Li G, Li DK. In utero exposure to bisphenol-A and anogenital distance of male offspring. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2011 Oct;91(10):867-72.