OAKLAND, Calif., May 5, 2011-- Parental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy is associated with decreased birth weight of offspring, compared with offspring from families without parental BPA exposure in the workplace, according to Kaiser Permanente researchers.
The observational study is published in the current online issue Reproductive Toxicology.
Researchers explained that there was a greater magnitude of decrease in birth weight in children whose mothers were directly exposed to high BPA levels in the workplace during pregnancy, followed by those whose mothers were exposed to low levels of BPA in the workplace, then by those whose mothers had BPA exposure through father's high occupational BPA exposure, and finally, the least decrease in birth weight in the offspring whose mothers had BPA exposure through father's low occupational exposure.
Although the finding needs to be confirmed by additional studies, the study provides preliminary evidence that maternal exposure to BPA during pregnancy may have an adverse effect on fetal growth, said De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, the principal investigator of the study, senior author of the new publication, and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.
Exposure to BPA has been reported to reduce birth weight in animal studies at relatively high levels of exposure. Both animal and human studies have shown that BPA can pass through the placental barrier and that fetuses are likely to be exposed to similar (if not higher) levels of BPA as those of mothers, explained the researchers.
The study population was identified from a larger study of more than 1,000 male and female workers in factories in China. It compared workers in BPA-exposing facilities with a control group of workers in factories where no BPA was present. BPA-exposed (from the manufacturers of BPA and epoxy resin) and unexposed worke
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