Researchers have found liver tumours in mice exposed to the Bisphenol A (BPA) – chemical present in plastic – via their mothers during gestation and nursing.
The study is one of the first to show a significant association between BPA and cancer development.
Mice whose mothers received the highest dosage, 50 mg of BPA per kg diet, were seven times more likely to have tumours than those whose mothers were not exposed to BPA.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical most commonly found in plastics, cash register receipts and the lining of food cans.
The researchers fed 6-week-old female mice diets containing one of three environmentally relevant doses of BPA prior to mating, then throughout pregnancy and nursing. They then took one male and one female from each litter and followed them through to 10 months.
In this research, it was the mothers who were exposed before conception. The offspring, therefore, were exposed as developing fetuses and pups, not as adults.
The study has been published in journal Environmental Health Perspectives.