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BPA Miscarriage: Could Food Packaging Interfere With Fertility?

By Rebekah Marcarelli r.marcarelli@hngn.com | Oct 15, 2013 12:08 PM EDT

Couples trying to conceive should avoid products that use BPA in their packaging.
Couples trying to conceive should avoid products that use BPA in their packaging. (Photo : Flickr)

A new study suggested the chemical BPA, which is often found in food packaging, could increase the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women.

The study was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's (ASRM) yearly Boston meeting. The team said women who had the highest levels of bisphenol A in their bloodstream had  a much greater risk of miscarriage, CBS News reported.

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"Many studies on environmental contaminants' impact on reproductive capacity have been focused on infertility patients and it is clear that high levels of exposure affect them negatively," Docotr Linda Giudice, president of ASRM, said in a statement, CBS reported. "These studies extend our observations to the general population and show that these chemicals are a cause for concern to all of us."

BPA's are found in plastics commonly used in food packaging, they are known endocrine disruptors, an ASRM news release reported.

Research has already shown that BPAs can interfere with couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), but there have been few studies on how the chemicals affect fertile couples and pregnant women.

The team observed 501couples trying to conceive. The study found that phthalate concentrations in males were linked to a 20 percent decrease in the ability to reproduce.

Another study with researchers from Stanford University, the University of California San Francisco and the University of Missouri looked at 114 women who had gotten positive pregnancy tests at four to five weeks of gestation. The study participants gave blood samples, which were tested for its levels of BPA. It was recorded whether the participants had a successful birth or a miscarriage.

On average, the women with higher BPA levels were more likely to have a miscarriage.

"Many studies on environmental contaminants' impact on reproductive capacity have been focused on infertility patients and it is clear that high levels of exposure affect them negatively.  These studies extend our observations to the general population and show that these chemicals are a cause for concern to all of us," ASRM President Linda Giudice, MD, PhD said in the statement. 

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