BPA Linked to Behavior Probems in Toddler Girls

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In the News

by Teresa J. Mitchell

little girl in boxing glovesThroughout the United States, consumer demand for BPA-free products has resulted in manufacturers, retailers and state and local governments restricting the use of BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and child food containers. Banned too late? We think so. While restricting its use in baby products is a step in the right direction, BPA exposure by pregnant women means that babies are still exposed at their most vulnerable stages of development -- in the womb.

A study released today by shows that exposure to the organic compound, bisphenol A (BPA) in the womb is associated with behavior disruptions at age three, especially among girls. The study examines the effects of BPA on children's behavior. Researchers found that girls whose mothers had the highest levels of BPA during pregnancy were more aggressive and hyperactive at age 2 than other girls.

The study confirms two prior studies showing that exposure to BPA in the womb impacts child behavior, but it's the first to show that in utero exposures are more important than exposures during childhood.

Widely used in plastic as a shatter-proof additive, BPA is found in eye glass lenses, computer cases, linings of metal and drink cans, dental sealants, sport safety equipment, medical devices, and food containers. "BPA exposure can be reduced by avoiding canned and packaged foods, receipts, and polycarbonate bottles with the recycling symbol 7," study authors stated. Discover more ways to reduce your exposure to BPA in our article, Just say NO! to BPA.

About the study: Braun J, et al "Impact of early-life bisphenol A exposure on behavior and executive function in children" Pediatrics 2011;128:873-882. Harvard School of Public Health tested 244 pregnant women and their three-year-old children for BPA exposure. The researchers found anxiety, depression and hyperactivity were seen more often in toddler girls whose mothers had high levels of the chemical in their urine while pregnant.

What do you think? Does this "hold water?" Let us know in the comments!

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