Canned foods, plastic containers and receipts all increase risk of miscarriage for pregnant women, scientists warn

One of the first studies looking at the evidence in humans shows worrying link between chemical BPA and infertility

Pregnant women should avoid eating canned food, heating up meals in plastic and drinking from bottles which have been left out in the sun, an influential study in the US has found.

Scientists from Stanford University said chemicals from such products leak into food and drink, leading to an 80 per cent increase in the risk of miscarriage. They issued the same advice to men whose partners are trying to conceive, because of a similarly negative impact on male fertility.

While advice to pregnant women has suggested avoiding canned foods for some time, this is one of the first extensive research projects carried out on the evidence in humans, and has been presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual conference in Boston.

It suggests that a substance which can get into food from packaging processes – the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) – comes with a marked and observable threat to the survival of a foetus.

BPA is contained in many cans, plastic containers and even shopping receipts, making it almost impossible to avoid the chemical altogether, the authors of the US study said.

The researchers did provide some advice as to how best a woman could limit the risk of exposure.

Lead author Dr Ruth Lathi, a reproductive endocrinologist at Stanford University, told the Telegraph: “This is important because miscarriage is a very common occurrence and human exposure to BPA is near-ubiquitous.”

“There are some simple things that people can do but it’s impossible to avoid it completely.

“Avoid anything that involves cooking or warming food in plastic as the chemicals leak out of plastic materials at a higher rate at higher temperatures.“

Even shopping posed a risk, she suggested, because many cash register receipts are coded with resin containing BPA.

“Avoid canned food, avoid cooking or heating plastic and then avoid unnecessary cash register receipts. Those are simple things that don’t cost a lot of money and are easy to do,” said Dr Lathi.

The Natural Hydration Council (NHC), which represents producers of naturally-sourced bottled water in the UK, said British water bottles are made from PET plastic that does not contain BPA.

“The plastic material used to contain naturally-sourced bottled waters found on UK supermarket shelves is made of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate),” the NHC said. “There is no Bisphenol A (BPA) in PET plastic. PET is the main packaging used for beverages, it is completely safe and complies with all European and national legal requirements.”

The US research was conducted with 114 pregnant women who had some form of history with infertility or miscarriage – a group which is particularly at risk from the impact of BPA.

The scientists analysed quantities of BPA in the women’s blood, and found that those with the highest levels had an 80 per cent greater risk of miscarriage than those with the lowest level. Across the study, 68 of the 114 women miscarried.

Dr Linda Giudice, ASRM President, said that while there have been previous studies which looked at the impact of chemicals on those with fertility problems, the findings of this study suggest BPA could have a damaging impact on a far larger group of people.

She said: “These studies extend our observations to the general population and show that these chemicals are a cause for concern to all of us.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine