BPA in the ER

Newborns in intensive care exposed to high levels of BPA, study finds

Newborns receiving treatment in neonatal intensive-care units (NICUs) are often exposed to high levels of the hormone-mimicking chemical bisphenol A (BPA), research finds.

A study conducted by researchers at Simmons College in Boston analyzed 55 infants who spent at least three days in a Boston-area NICU, finding that many of the devices used in emergency rooms—breathing tubes, intravenous drug-delivery lines and enclosed incubators—are made from plastics containing BPA, according to ScienceNews. While a healthy infant excretes BPA at about .45 micrograms per liter, the researchers found that the average infant in intensive care excretes BPA at 17.8 micrograms per liter.

What represents a toxic level of BPA in humans has not been determined, but elevated prenatal exposure to BPA has been linked to developmental disorders and behavioral problems in young children.