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05-12-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Chemical in plastics linked to reduced female fertility


Free abstract

MedWire News: Perinatal exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA)-a chemical commonly found in the environment-could reduce women's fertility, suggest the results of an animal study.

US and French researchers observed that the reproductive ability of female mice was reduced after exposure to BPA, in a similar way to what is seen with exposure to another environmental chemical (diethylstilbestrol), known to impair female fertility in humans.

"Our findings are potentially of great relevance to humans because BPA is used in the production of materials people are exposed to every day, such as polycarbonate plastics and the resins used to coat the inside of food and beverage cans," said co-first author Nicolas Cabaton (French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Toulouse).

Cabaton and team exposed female mice to 0 ng, 25 ng, 250 ng, or 25,000 ng BPA per kg body weight per day and followed them up from embryonic development day 8 through day 16 of lactation.

These doses correspond with those humans are routinely exposed to.

The cumulative number of pups born to mice exposed to 25 ng BPA was significantly lower than that to unexposed mice, at an average 49.7 versus 67.5 at week 16 of the study, and this association continued throughout the study.

Mice exposed to 25 µg BPA also gave birth to significantly fewer pups than unexposed mice, at 58.3 versus 82.0 by the end of the study.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy