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Study Details How and Why of BPA’s Dangers to Fertility
Exposing a female fetus to a chemical found in plastics causes permanent changes in a daughter’s uterus that might result in cancer — and a research team led by a Yale doctor has figured out why.
Bisphenol A is commonly found in plastics (those with a “7” code on the bottom), in the lining of aluminum cans and in dental sealants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern about potential effects of BPA on the brain and reproductive organs, though the link is not definitive.
Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility section of the Yale School of Medicine, said even brief exposure to BPA in the uterus causes permanent damage.
“We already know that mice that are exposed to BPA already have a higher risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and infertility,” he said.
In this study, one group of mice was exposed to BPA as fetuses and compared to a control group to see how much the DNA in the uterus had been modified. The findings, Taylor said, reveal that BPA strips off a part of the DNA, which permanently alters the genetic structure.
“It chemically modifies the DNA by removing methyl groups from the DNA backbone and that makes the DNA more accessible,” he said. The genes then become permanently altered to be supersensitive to estrogen, which can lead to cancer and other consequences. Read more.>