New research continues to collaborate the concerns about what BPA (bisphenol A) can do to a growing baby, with scientists showing that transmission of BPA from a mother to her baby through the placenta can negatively impact fetal brain development.

For a while now, we've been learning of the dangers of BPA (bisphenol), and its formerly common use in plastics and metal linings has waned. Still, researchers are finding that the direct transmission of BPA from a pregnant woman to her baby through the placenta can impact the baby's developing brain.

Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld is a professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. She says,
"The placenta is only a temporary organ that aids in the exchange of nutrients and waste between mother and child during pregnancy, but how the placenta responds to toxicants like BPA during pregnancy can lead to long-term health consequences."

For their research, Dr. Rosenfeld said they looked at the role of microRNAs within babies' placentas. These are known to be key mediators when it comes to regulating cellular functions, and that includes not just neural development but even the identification of certain makers for cancer. Rosenfeld believes that the microRNAs play a role in how BPA exposure may lead to neurological disorders as the children grow. She says, "Even before the brain's neurons are developed, these microRNA packages may already be guiding fetal brain development. These changes may even be different in female versus male fetuses."

Sadly, BPA is still in many products--plastics, water bottles, food containers and even in the coating of metal food cans. Something as 'simple' as microwaving food in polycarbonate food containers can give exposure to both mother and baby. And though 'BPA free' has become somewhat of a greenwashed label, there is still great debate in what's considered 'safe' exposure of BPA.

So, good rule of thumb? Ditch the plastics as much as you can. Investigate companies who make the 'BPA free' claim and don't be shy in looking for stats from those companies when they make those claims.