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Small Study Connects BPA to Miscarriages

Update Date: Oct 14, 2013 11:03 AM EDT

The chemical bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, can be found in a lot of everyday items. According to officials, these levels are so low that they do not pose any health risks for people. In a new study, however, researchers found that BPA levels could increase the risk of a miscarriage. This small study suggests that exposure to BPA could be detrimental and should be limited.

For this study, researcher Dr. Ruth Lathi, a reproductive endocrinologist from Stanford University and colleagues looked at 115 pregnant women who had a history of infertility or miscarriage. From this group of women, 68 of them suffered a miscarriage and 47 had successful live births. The team had collected blood samples from the newly pregnant women to measure their BPA levels. The women were then separated into four groups based on their levels.

The research team calculated that the women in the group with the highest level of exposure to BPA had an 80 percent greater risk of miscarriage when compared to the women in the group with the lowest level of BPA exposure. Despite this link, the researchers stated that their study was small and that other factors could have contributed to the increased miscarriage risk. The researchers said that even though what they found was not a cause and effect relationship, the findings provide "biological plausibility."

The researchers stated that even though other risk factors might be involved, women should still avoid BPA if they can.  The team recommends people to avoid cooking or warming up their foods in plastic containers. Furthermore, avoid leaving plastic bottles in sunlight, reduce the use of canned products and try not to touch cash register receipts. Even though there are preventive measures, the researchers stated that avoiding it completely is impossible.

The study was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's annual meeting in Boston, MA.

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