A gender-bending chemical found in babies' bottles may raise their odds of prostate cancer in later life, scientists have warned.
In experiments, newborn rats fed bisphenol A, a building-block of many commonly-used plastics, were more likely to develop pre-cancerous cells as they aged.
AdvertisementWith chemical levels similar to those commonly found in the human body, the researchers said their findings are directly relevant to babies' health.
Their warning comes just a week after the European food watchdog said that the amounts of the chemical we are exposed to in day-to-day life are too low to do any harm.
The Food Standards Agency also said that bisphenol A does not carry a risk but the latest study raises fresh concerns about the compound which is also found in CD cases, tin can linings, sunglasses, plastic knives and forks, mobile phones and dental sealants.
The American researchers showed that giving newborn rats the chemical raised their odds of developing cellular damage that can lead to prostate cancer in later life. Both mouth drops and injections were equally damaging.
"There was no difference in the number of lesions, whether the bisphenol A was given by injection or orally, the prostate pathology was the same," the Daily Mail quoted University of Illinois researcher Gail Prins as saying.
"It mattered nothing which way it was given," Prins added.
The latest research suggests that the damage seen in such experiments also occurs when we access it through food and drink.
Bisphenol A has previously been linked to fertility problems, breast cancer, prostate cancer and heart attacks.
The research has been written in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.