Doctor and Daughter: Is it Safe to Eat Tinned Food? | My Baba

This last week has seen an epidemic of scary articles suggesting that it may be dangerous for pregnant women to eat canned food, microwaved food, drink water from plastic bottles left in the sun, and handle cash register receipts.

The alarm was raised after a meeting in Boston USA this week where some recent work on the risk of miscarriage was presented.  It presented the results of a study of 114 women , who were already known to have a history of miscarriage and / or infertlity. It found that those women who had high levels of a compound called Bisphenol-A (BPA) were 80 % more likely to miscarry than those who had low or normal levels.

The authors then concluded that it was best to avoid canned, and food microwaved in plastic containers . They also suggested that pregnant women should avoid handling unnecessary cash register receipts, and not to drink from plastic bottles left in the sun. ?We have several comments:-

Firstly, this is the first such study to find such a significant link in humans. However, it was a very small study, of a group of women who already had medical problems, for whatever reason.

Secondly, the findings need to be investigated further before a significant change in advice to pregnant women is suggested.

Thirdly, just how do we humans avoid BPA?  It is one of the most important components of plastic and is almost everywhere. Six billion pounds of BPA are produced every year, and it is found in the body fluids and tissues of almost all children and adults. It is an important component of most plastic products, including toys, cars, cans, pipes, spectacles, dental sealants, medical equipment, electronics, air, dust, seawater and tap water.

Until we know more, it seems sensible, as ever, to try and and eat fresh food whenever possible, and as ever, to try and reduce the chances of your food being exposed to plastic . Perhaps avoid plastic in the microwave and avoid drinking water from plastic bottles left in the sun.

But as for cash register receipts? Maybe a good excuse to get your partner to do the food shopping!?

About The Author

Doctor and Daughter
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Roger Marwood is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. He has 40 years experience working in busy NHS and Private hospitals and has personally supervised around 20,000 pregnancies. Rebecca Maberly is his eldest daughter who gave birth to her first child last year and is currently pregnant with her second. Together they have founded The Doctor and Daughter's Guide to Pregnancy which is a must-visit for prospective parents seeking a definitive source of realistic information, free from unqualified input from forums and comments. It enables mothers-to-be make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, such as whether or not they should be drinking alcohol, running a marathon or eating smoked salmon. Their approach is no-nonsense and practical. The advice is medical and evidence-based, straight from Roger but with an informal slant provided by Rebecca. “There is so much conflicting information out there for the new mum-to-be, it can be very frustrating. We want to provide realistic, honest advice to busy modern women who want the best for their babies.”

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