The study, published Oct. 6, 2009 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is the first to examine if there is a link between prenatal bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and behavior problems in children. Results suggest that if a woman is exposed to BPA early in her pregnancy, development of the baby’s nervous system might be adversely affected.
BPA is commonly used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins that can be found, for example, in some types of plastic bottles, canned food linings, water supply pipes and medical tubing. About 93 percent of people in the United States have detectible levels of BPA in their urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers found that daughters of women who had higher concentrations of BPA in their urine samples during pregnancy were more likely to have aggressive and hyperactive behaviors than children of women with lower BPA levels, especially if higher exposure was seen earlier in pregnancy.
“In other words, girls whose mothers had higher BPA exposure were more likely to act like boys than girls whose mothers had lower BPA levels, especially if the exposure was seen earlier in pregnancy,” said the study’s lead author Joe Braun, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Boys’ behavior did not seem to be affected, although there was some evidence of increased internalizing scores among BPA-exposed boys.”
Researchers do not know why girls seem to be affected by the exposure more or differently than boys.
BPA has been used in products for decades, and concerns about its safety have been growing in recent years, Braun said. Previous studies in mice have shown that the offspring of mothers with high BPA exposure during pregnancy were more aggressive than offspring not exposed to high prenatal levels of BPA.
“We wanted to know if there was a risk in humans for neurodevelopment problems,” he said. “Study results indicate that exposure to BPA early in the pregnancy seems to be the most critical issue. The most damaging exposure might happen before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.”
Braun worked with researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.
For the study, urine samples were taken from 249 pregnant women in Cincinnati, Ohio, at 16 weeks and 26 weeks of pregnancy, and again at birth. BPA concentrations in the samples were measured. Then, when the children were 2 years old, behavior problems were assessed, using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2 (BASC-2).
“Many government agencies and consumers in the U.S., Canada and around the world have expressed concerns about BPA exposure, especially in children,” said Dr. Bruce Lanphear, professor of children’s environmental health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the study’s senior author. “Canada has banned BPA in baby bottles and other baby products, but that might not be sufficient to protect children. Although this is the first study of its kind, it suggests that we may also need to reduce exposures during pregnancy.”
The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on the study, visit: www.ehponline.org.
Note: Braun can be reached at (919) 951-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Lanphear can be reached at (778) 387-3939 or email@example.com.
Ramona DuBose | Newswise Science News
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy