Even if you’re careful to skip the sushi and say bye-bye to beer, it turns out that if you drink your water from plastic bottles or eat your vegetables from cans you might still be putting your baby at risk, reports TIME.com.
A new study at Harvard, published online today in Pediatrics, finds that baby girls exposed to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in many types of plastic, before birth may exhibit behavior problems by age 3. The girls whose moms had the highest levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to be aggressive, anxious, and hyperactive and have poor emotional control.
Unfortunately BPA is nearly everywhere: in water bottles, can linings, and even cash register receipts. It’s almost impossible for pregnant women to avoid it entirely. In the Harvard study, for instance, only 3 percent of the moms had urine that was BPA-free.
But just because you can’t avoid it completely doesn’t mean you can’t minimize your exposure. Eat fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned. And take stainless steel water bottles or those explicitly labeled BPA-free to the gym. You can also look on a plastic container’s recycle code for information: Items marked with the code numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are unlikely to contain BPA.
Were you concerned about exposure to BPA during your pregnancy?