Exposure to chemical may lead to Down’s Syndrome

September 25th, 2011 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 25 (IANS) Exposure to chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), present in plastic water and baby bottles, could harm the fertility of woman’s offspring and increase the chances of Down’s Syndrome in them.

“According to our results, BPA does not directly affect the fertility of pregnant women, but that of their daughters and granddaughters,” said Montserrat Garcia Caldes, professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain, who led the study.

Observations of chromosome 21 in the development of oocytes (cells which become ova) revealed that exposure to BPA could increase the risk of Down’s Syndrome in the future offspring of the woman’s child, the journal Human Reproduction reports, citing an university statement.

Down’s Syndrome is a condition characterized by the presence of an extra copy of genetic material on the chromosome 21. It is linked with mental and physical impairment.

“We are exposed to BPA on a daily basis, mainly through oral exposure, since we can find it in lunch boxes, beverage bottles and food storage,” said study co-author Miguel Àngel Brieno-Enriquez, from the University of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Human cells were used for the first time to analyse the process of cell division of the oocytes in which chromosomes join and exchange material.

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