Can BPA In Plastics And Cans Trigger Infertility?

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Studies have shown that the industrial compound bisphenol A (BPA) causes damage to developing ovaries. BPA interferes with the enzymes essential in the production of sex hormones responsible for reproductive function. BPA is an ovarian toxicant and found in polycarbonate plastics, protective linings in cans and pipes. Avoid BPA when possible.

Several studies have claimed that the widely used industrial compound bisphenol A (BPA) can cause damage to developing ovaries. Dr. Flaws, a bioscientist at the University of Illinois dosed young female mice with BPA solution. This was given at a level comparable to estimated human exposure to BPA in the United States. Their ovaries were examined with main focus on the follicles containing the eggs.

The effect of BPA:

The results were clearly visible. The follicles of the treated mice were smaller and few as that compared to regular mice. Also, the treated mice were unable to produce estradiol, the sex hormone responsible for reproductive development, at normal levels. BPA was seen to interfere or disrupt the enzymes essential in the production of these hormones. Another study conducted on the same subject found that treated mice stopped producing viable eggs at an abnormally young age.

The same research has been conducted by scientists across a broad range of mammals, from sheep to humans. Due to this, they have been raising concerns on excessive exposure to BPA and female infertility. Childhood exposure to BPA may result in infertility, and adult exposure may result in shorter reproductive span.

Another similar research was conducted to study the effect of the compound in primate species, the rhesus monkey. Monkeys were exposed to BPA in their second and third trimesters of their pregnancy. The exposure in both trimesters altered follicles and oocytes (the germ cells that develop into eggs).

Most scientists have concluded that BPA is an ovarian toxicant and can affect infertility.  It is an ingredient in products like polycarbonate plastics, thermal coatings on cash register receipts and protective linings in cans and pipes.

Such concerns led to a ban in baby products by the Food and Drug administration. However, it is still being used in a wide variety of products and materials, and a majority of Americans still test positive for exposure.

The other factors that affect infertility are genetics, lifestyle and chemical exposure. So try avoiding the compound when possible.


Edited by Pragya Sharoff