A chemical used in everything from baby bottles to tin can linings seems to have caused premature puberty and increased body weight in female mice, according to new research published in the journal Nature. The chemical, bisphenol A, is thought to be an endocrine disrupter, which can upset hormone systems in humans and other animals. The study suggests that the chemical might be a factor in reproductive and weight problems seen in human populations in recent years. The study’s American authors are now calling for more research into the effects on children of maternal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

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