1. Health
Rachel Gurevich

Water Bottles and Bisphenol A – Can BPA Cause Infertility?

By April 23, 2008

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You may have heard or read about it in The Wall Street Journal – Canada is considering a ban against food product containers containing the chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA. The ban has also put pressure on Wal-Mart chains, leading them to eliminate the baby bottles with this chemical from their shelves within the next year.

Bisphenol A is used in some plastics, and can be found in common household items, including some can linings, water bottles, and baby bottles. The chemical does get into the food and drink of products packaged in these plastics, but the amount is extremely tiny.

I agree that this chemical, and others like it, should be eliminated as much as possible from our food and water packages. What I don't agree with is the hype being put out there in the media, linking the use of bisphenol A with a number of health problems, including infertility and miscarriage.

An article in the British Telegraph newspaper, Infertility: Handle With Care, implies that these chemicals are the cause of a number of health problems, including infertility. While the article itself makes clear that the scientists are "suspicious" but can't prove its effect, the chart at the end of the article makes it seem like there's no doubt these chemicals are to blame.

So far, studies of the bisphenol A have been linked to a number of heath problems, including infertility and miscarriage, in mice... mice -- not people. Plus, the mice were given a steady diet, so to speak, of the chemical. Our intake of these chemicals is far below what the mice were purposely fed, in large quantities.

Do I think these chemicals should be removed from our food and water containers? Yes, absolutely. Is there reason to panic? I don't think so.

But the big question for infertility suffers -- will avoiding these chemicals, once infertility is diagnosed, make much difference? I doubt it. But who can say?

If you want to avoid these chemicals in your plastic water bottles, look for and avoid the number 7, usually found within the recycle symbol. The "number 7" plastics contain BPA.

What do you think? Do you think the hype is, well, hype, or legitimate concern? Do you plan on avoiding products with BPA? Share your thoughts, either in the comments section below, or on our forums.

Photo © User Clix from Stock.xchng
April 29, 2008 at 2:59 am
(1) Zhiyuan Cai says:

It’s my first time to read this sort of article. It is helpful to me. Yes, I agreed with you that please remove those noxious chemicals from our foods and water containers.

July 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm
(2) Joe says:

My wife and I have gone through IVF with 5 perfectly good embryos and have yet to become pregnant, even though my wife is as healthy as they come according to the doctor. She drinks lots of bottled water and even keeps some in the car, where they heat up. It may be silly to jump to conclusions about this topic, however those who are in our situation and looking for answers may not find this all that silly. It may be relevant.

July 19, 2009 at 11:19 am
(3) trying to get pregnant says:

My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half now. In March of 2008 I had 9 teeth filled with White dental composite by Kerr which contains BisGMA, which contains BPA in the compound. A week after I got the fillings I started unscheduled vaginal bleeding that lasted for 20 days. Up to this point my periods have been regular. I was on birth control for about 10 years until 3 months prior to the dental work. The sonogram showed no reason I should be bleeding. The doctors could not find anything wrong. I got in contact with a university that was doing a study on these things with rats and monkeys. Turns out their rats (NOT humans, per the article) had similar results. By this time we had been trying to conceive for one of the 3 months right before the dental work. We were trying for a girl based on the Chinese Birth Chart. I figured we should get the dental work done before I got pregnant, because someone told me we should.

Here it is over a year later. My cycles have been consistently getting one to two days longer each cycle starting with a regular 30 day cycle. Ending on 40 days when I got on Fertilaid and shortened it to 30. My facial hair is darker than it use to be which I read could be a sign of high levels of estrogen which is what BPA does. My husband’s sperm checked out fine. My HSG turned out fine. My thyroid and prolactin levels are fine. My Dr diagnosed me with “unexplained fertility.” and jumped into IUIs and Invetro.

I think I need more blood tests to find the problem before we jump off the deep end with procedures. Infertility is just a symptom of something going wrong in my body. I am pretty sure that my fillings that are in my mouth 24/7, exposed to hot tea, cold ice cream, and rough grinding for chewing are causing at least a part of these infertility problems. As far as water bottles, I don’t drink from them unless I ABSOLUTELY have to, but I think that what is in my mouth is already enough.

Now I just need to know what tests to run, if any, to prove it. We have to pay off the credit cards from the tests that insurance does not cover before embarking on another fertility testing rampage. I don’t have the money to replace all of my teeth all at once with porcelain, but that is what I am doing one by one. Two down, 7 to go. Now as far as this being reversible… The university seems to think so. So I am holding onto that hope.

January 12, 2011 at 3:31 am
(4) Esa M says:

In studies, it has been found that small amounts of BPA are present in bodies of 95 per cent of the population (Study done in Canada, if I remember correctly). As BPA doesn’t “gather” into our bodies, people must be continuosly taking it. How this affects the hormone-production in male and female bodies if you are “given” BPA through your whole life, from childhood on? I claim that it will have a rather great impact, during childhood and teenager years especially.
It is a whole different thing, giving adult rats doses of BPA and giving growing rats doses of BPA.

You are right in saying that avoiding these chemicals just to get pregnant wont probably help one get pregnant. You should avoid these pthalates and BPA during your whole life. Most importantly, you should protect your children from becoming subjected to them.

Esa M, Student of Chemistry in University of Helsinki

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