We used to believe that the placenta filtered out most of what mom was exposed to and kept the developing baby safe. We’re starting to realize just how incredibly far from the truth this really was.
For me, the first slap upside the head was the 10 Americans’ Study done by Environmental Working Group (EWG.org). They found an average of 200+ chemicals in the cord blood of newborns, meaning that these toxins had passed into the baby and the baby was exposed in the womb. The long term results of some of these exposures may be impossible to quantify.
However, this particular study is able to quantify at least one aspect of exposure to BPA in the womb. Some scary aspects to this study:
- 97% of the pregnant moms had BPA detected in their urine
- Each 10 fold increase in BPA levels worsened anxiety and behavior scores in 3 yr old girls
For years, the FDA stated that BPA was safe for use in food products. The Susan G. Komen Foundation still does not acknowledge that BPA may contribute to breast cancer (I call them “slow learners…”). In the past few years, however, the FDA has changed its stance and have begrudgingly agreed that BPA is toxic in a variety of ways, but that it is not too ubiquitous in our products and our lives to do anything about it. So much for your tax dollars at work.
So what can potentially pregnant (and, quite frankly, all of us) do to lower exposure to BPA? These items produce some of the highest levels of exposure and shoudl be avoided as much as possible:
- plastic water bottles / polycarbonate plastics
- canned goods (the liner is frequently made with BPA)
- thermal credit card receipts