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In California, the controversy continues over BPA


Narrator:       This is Science Today. After a few weeks on California's list of harmful chemicals, bisphenol A, or BPA, has been removed by a California judge pending a lawsuit. The estrogen-like chemical, which is used in hard plastics and metal food containers, has been controversial over the years due to concerns about its effects on reproductive health. Research epidemiologist Jonathan Chevrier of the University of California, Berkeley, recently found a link between BPA and thyroid hormone changes in pregnant women and newborn boys.

Chevrier:       What we found was that women that had higher levels of BPA in their urine tended to have lower levels of a thyroid hormone that's called total T4 during pregnancy. We also found that boys whose mother had higher levels of BPA during pregnancy tended themselves to have lower of another thyroid hormone that's called TSH.

Narrator:       Chevrier says their findings are very preliminary. 

Chevrier:       Our study is the very first one to look at BPA and thyroid hormone during pregnancy and just BPA and thyroid hormone in general; there's only four in humans so far, so it's a very new field of research.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.