USA Today sounds the latest warning on BPA, or bisphenol A, in a report on growing concerns that the industrial chemical and synthetic estrogen (which is still used as a lining in many canned goods as well as in plastics and other common products) may be linked to breast cancer.
The news report cites a just-released study by advocates at the Breast Cancer Foundation that focuses on the potential dangers of prenatal exposure. According to the report:
Prenatal exposure to this toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical is of even greater concern than childhood exposure.
During the prenatal period, the foundation is set for how the body’s systems develop, and animal and human studies show us that fetal exposure to BPA can set the stage for later-life diseases, including breast cancer.
To understand the mechanism at work, reporter Liz Szabo quotes Tufts biologist Dr. Ana Soto, who published a paper last month that found BPA increased the risk of mammary cancers in rats:
In two studies of rhesus monkeys published last year, other researchers found that BPA disrupted egg development, damaged chromosomes and caused changes in the mammary gland that made animals more susceptible to cancer.
Soto says it’s possible that prenatal BPA exposure makes fetuses more sensitive to estrogen, a hormone that drives the growth of most breast cancers. In that way, BPA could indirectly increase the risk of breast cancer later in life. Continue reading