A new study released October 14 at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's (ASRM) annual meeting in Boston found that women with high levels of BPA in their blood were significantly more likely to miscarry than women with the lowest levels of BPA, or bisphenol A.
'Many studies on environmental contaminants' impact on reproductive capacity have been focused on infertility patients and it is clear that high levels of exposure affect them negatively,' Dr. Linda Giudice, president of ASRM, said in a statement. 'These studies extend our observations to the general population and show that these chemicals are a cause for concern to all of us.'
BPA is used to line cans, in plastic bottles, tableware, and food storage containers. BPA is referred to by researchers as a 'hormone-disrupting chemical' due to health risks including reproductive problems, obesity, neurodevelopmental delays, and diabetes.
In July 2012 in the United States, BPA was banned from baby bottles and sippy cups, but the FDA rejected an outright ban of the chemical despite Canada and the European Union banning BPA, saying scientific evidence 'does not suggest that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe.'
Researchers recruited 114 women in early pregnancy and gave them blood tests. Their samples were stored. Blood samples were taken again later. Women who had miscarried had a higher level of BPA on average than the women who gave birth. Miscarriage risk rose with increasing levels of BPA in the mother's blood.
Study author Dr. Ruth Lathi said that the small study is not a major cause for alarm, but 'it's far from reassuring that BPA is safe.'
'It may be that women with higher BPA levels do have other risk factors' for miscarriage that might be amplified by BPA, she said.
The study's findings are considered preliminary, but 'the association identified with miscarriages is biologically plausible, and of great concern,' Dr. Leo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the NYU Langone School of Medicine, told CBSNews.com in an email. 'While further study is needed, the findings add to the case for revisiting the decision by FDA not to ban BPA in food uses.'
It is noted that pregnant women are exposed to about 43 different chemicals, which have the potential to increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth the statement said.