image courtesy of Shutterstock
A recent study indicates that, at least for female monkeys, BPA exposure in the womb can lead to abnormal egg development. Scientists are still uncertain on what impact this has for human egg development, but it certainly raises concerns about the risks of BPA exposure, particularly since BPA is found in so many common products. The average individual is likely exposed to BPA every day from things like credit card receipts, dental fillings and food packaging.
Egg formation happens before birth while the female is still in the womb. The study indicates that a fetus exposed to BPA through her mother may go on to show abnormalities in egg development. In the monkeys tested, eggs showed signs that they would divide improperly, which can lead to excessive chromosomes, which can cause Down Syndrome or miscarriages. The monkeys in the study did not reach reproductive age, so scientists are not certain exactly how these egg abnormalities would play out in reproduction.
Pregnant monkeys were exposed to BPA through their daily food intake or through an implant during the second and third trimesters. The levels of BPA were similar to those that humans are exposed to in their lives. Similar findings have previously been seen in mice, but this study is particularly important because of the close similarities between monkeys and humans.
The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers indicated that they hope to do continued research on monkeys that can be followed into adulthood to see how BPA exposure impacts reproduction long term.