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Aurora magazine

Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A alters the brain?

According to a team from the University of Calgary, prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) could alter brain development. Even the levels considered safe, would instead cause behavioral abnormalities in adulthood.

Bisphenol A is a chemical substance contained in a large number of commonly used objects. It is used for water bottles, paper, ready-made food containers. It is known that in large quantities it interferes with the endocrine system. According to some studies, it would have negative effects on hormones even in smaller quantities. For the first time, researchers highlight a possible link between BPA and brain abnormalities.

The research summarizes the studies carried out on animal models and human beings. A discomforting picture emerges on the effects of prenatal exposure to the substance. Among the children most exposed to bisphenol A in the womb, in fact, there would be a high rate of behavioral problems. Researchers therefore suspect that the substance permanently alters fetal brain development.

To date, global agencies consider the substance to be safe. If the BPA is really so toxic, where are the alleged brain damage? This study is the first to have shown the nature of the anomalies and to have evidenced a possible link with the substance. Embryos exposed to bisphenol A develop more neurons than unexposed ones.

Brain development follows a series of distinct steps. An early development of certain neurons means that they will migrate to the wrong areas of the brain. They will create wrong connections and cause long-term consequences. Prenatal exposure to BPA therefore appears to have permanent effects, similar in guinea pigs and in humans. At least that's what the study says. To confirm this, further targeted research will be required.