Fetal Exposure to BPA and Increasing Breast Cancer Incidence

The list is long.  They are literally everywhere.  Our gardens, our homes, our food.  Chemicals that enter our bodies through our lungs, digestive system and skin, and impact our health in ways that are poorly understood because they need not be studied or proven safe before being sold to us.

Bisphenol A (or BPA) is one such synthetic chemical.  It is used widely in food-grade plastics and expoxy resins, such as those used to seal canned foods. As a result of its widespread use in containers that come into contact with our foods, most of us absorb large quantities of it. Given that endocrine disruptors such as BPA are chemicals that interfere with our hormone systems, and breast cancer is often estrogen-dependent, there is good reason to question what effect BPA exposure might have on breast cancer risk.

Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine conducted a recent study to examine the effects of BPA exposure on fetal mammary gland development.  The lead investigator of that study summed up their findings with this: “Exposure in the womb to endocrine disruptors such as BPA may be a main factor responsible for the increased incidence of breast cancer in women.” Not a factor, but main factor. Kind of scary, but the good news is that we can largely avoid BPA.  Read more about this study here.  For tips on avoiding BPA, go here.  And remember, while “BPA-free” sounds like a step in the right direction, they’ve just replaced it with another untested synthetic chemical.

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