London: A chemical found in babies` plastic bottles may raise their odds of developing prostate cancer later in life.
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.
With 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, according to the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
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, reports the Daily Mail.
American researchers showed that giving newborn rats the chemical raised their odds of developing cellular damage that can lead to prostate cancer later in life. Both mouth drops and injections were equally damaging.
University of Illinois researcher Gail Prins said: "These findings on prostate health are directly relevant to humans at current bisphenol A exposure levels."
Bisphenol A has previously been linked to fertility problems, breast cancer, prostate cancer and heart attacks.
Campaigners say that those concerned about the chemical should use bisphenol A-free baby bottles, cut down on their use of canned foods and opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers where possible.
They should also avoid heating foods, including baby meals, in polycarbonate plastic food containers - often marked with a `7` on the bottom - as the chemical can leak out of the plastic at high temperature.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men and the second highest killer after lung cancer.