A developing fetus is especially vulnerable during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy, says co-author Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science at the Breast Cancer Fund. “Everything is being developed” at this stage, she says. “The building blocks are being laid down for future health.”
The report cites 60 animal and human studies, all of which show links between prenatal BPA exposure to an increased risk of a variety of health problems, including breast cancer and prostate cancer as well as neurological problems and decreased fertility.
Tufts University’s found that BPA increased the risk of mammary cancers in rats. In two studies of rhesus monkeys published in 2012 other researchers found that BPA disrupted egg development, damaged chromosomes and caused changes in the mammary gland that made animals more susceptible to cancer.
Worries over possible links between the estrogen-like chemical BPA or bisphenol A and breast cancer led manufacturers to remove it from baby bottles and infant formula packaging however BPA is still used in many other plastic items as well as linings of metal food cans and cash-register paper receipts
The FDA also has expressed “some concern” about the potential effects of BPA and banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012, however manufacturers of metal cans continue to claim there’s no clear evidence that BPA linings cause harm.