For the first time, researchers have found a link betweenpregnant women’s exposure to a common type of plastics andadverse effects on genital development in their malechildren. And babies still aren’t safe after they’re born:the bottles used to feed infants or the containers holdingleftovers in the refrigerator can cause them serious harm.One researcher says, “The science is clear and the findingsare not just scary, they are horrific. When you feed a babyout of a clear, hard plastic bottle, it’s like giving him abirth control pill.”

Bisphenol-A is a chemical that is used to manufacture hardplastic baby bottles, food storage containers, waterbottles, toys, pacifiers and baby teething rings. Thechemical also is found in in the coatings inside cans offood. Recent studies show that BPA is extremely harmful evenin very low doses, because it acts like the female hormoneestrogen and interferes with the body’s natural processes.BPA has been linked to behavioral changes, learningdisabilities, brain damage and an increased chance ofcertain cancers. Researchers are concerned about theexposure of babies to the chemical, which can causeirreversible damage.

The California legislature is proposing a bill banning alluse of BPA in products made for children three years of ageor younger. “If BPA was treated as a drug, it would havebeen pulled immediately,” researcher vom Saal says. “We arenot saying get rid of plastics. This chemical can bereplaced right now by safer materials and the public wouldnever notice the difference.”

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