A chemical commonly used in everyday products could potentially impact the birth weight and long-term health of newborn babies, according to a recent study.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is used in everything from food-can linings to plastic containers, and its high levels in pregnant mothers have been found to produce babies that grow about 20 percent slower in the womb than women with low levels. A slow rate of growth can lead to a low birth weight, and low-birth-weight babies are more likely to suffer developmental delays than normal-weight babies. Recent studies have also tied the chemical to increased asthma rates in children and to genetic changes that can impair a child’s neurological development.

Even though the Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of BPA in products aimed at children, such as baby bottles and sippy cups, much of the damage BPA causes occurs when babies are still in the womb. The body eliminates BPA relatively quickly, but we are exposed to it from so many different sources that most people have constant low levels in their bodies, making total avoidance nearly impossible.

Here are a few ways to keep your BPA exposures to an absolute minimum:

  • Kick canned food out of your kitchen. The linings contain BPA. Opt for fresh or frozen foods and those packaged in aseptic cartons.
  • Pay in cash…or ask for no receipt. The thermal papers used to print receipts are coated with BPA or with a very similar chemical called BPS. Both BPA and BPS are endocrine disruptors, so decline receipts whenever you can.
  • Go plastic free. Avoid #7 polycarbonate plastics, especially if you’re storing food or drinks. Instead, opt for containers made of glass, food-grade stainless steel, or ceramic.

The effects of BPA products is only beginning to be understood. It is clear BPA can cause birth defects, low birth weight and issues concerning the development and growth of fetus’ and children.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, drug, or malpractice, call the professionals at Crandall & Pera Law for a free case evaluation.