So far, there is not enough evidence to say bisphenol A (BPA) harms human reproduction, according to the U.S. government.
Utah women may provide the evidence - or disprove the assertion.
University of Utah researchers are recruiting 425 women to participate in a study in which surgeons will take a postage stamp-sized sample of their abdominal fat to test it for a variety of chemicals, including BPA.
"Many of these chemicals bioaccumulate in the fat," said C. Matthew Peterson, chairman of the University of Utah's department of obstetrics and gynecology and principal investigator of the Utah portion of the study. "This will be the largest study in the United States measuring these various environmental chemicals. We'll be able to get a clear idea if [there has been an] increase of these or accumulation of these chemicals and whether they appear to be at any risk of inducing endometriosis and a number of other gynecologic disorders and conditions."
Endometriosis, which can cause pain, irregular bleeding and infertility, happens when tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body.
Peterson said eliminating bottles with BPA is an "over-reaction" and probably pointless since BPA is commonly used in thousands of products, ranging from automobiles and CDs to dental sealants.
"We don't know the answer as to whether these things are dangerous or not. . . . If tÁhese things are a problem, the whole environment is going to have to change."
The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and will also involve women from San Francisco.
For more information, go to http://endostudy.utah.edu/