You may have already stocked up on BPA-free plastic baby bottles for after your baby is born. But what about the health effects of bisphenol A (BPA) in the plastic bottles and food containers you use? It might be a good idea for moms-to-be to say bye-bye to BPA right now, according to a group of researchers who found that moms’ exposure to the controversial chemical during pregnancy puts babies at higher risk for developing wheezing symptoms early in life.
According to a study of 367 mothers and their infants, BPA levels were measured in the mothers' urine during the 16th and 26th weeks of pregnancy and again when they gave birth. Moms were then asked whether they noticed any signs of wheezing in their babies. Among infants 6 months of age, those whose mothers had high levels of BPA during pregnancy were twice as likely to wheeze as those whose mothers had low BPA levels.
By the time the children were 3 years old, however, differences in wheezing rates had disappeared. Researchers are now advising women to consider avoiding products made with BPA until more information is available.
BPA is widely used in consumer products, including many hard plastic food containers, water bottles, and the lining of metal food and beverage cans. So how can you avoid this common chemical? Banning BPA from your life is not as difficult as it seems. Some easy steps offered by the Environmental Working Group include:
And one biggie when it comes to avoiding BPA: stop using plastic containers to heat food in microwaves. Instead, place food in ceramic and glass (microwavable) containers.