The chemical BPA is receiving another bad rap in the news. Over the years, the safety of this widely used chemical has been disputed. A recent study published online in the journal, Pediatrics on Monday revealed a possible link to the popular chemical used in plastic bottles, adhesives, and the lining of canned foods to behavioral and emotional problems in female toddlers.
Although a small study, the article is the first to suggest that a mother’s exposure during pregnancy to BPA might be linked to a young girl’s emotional well-being.
The study occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio. They analyzed 244 moms and children up to the age of three. The mom’s urine samples were tested during pregnancy and again at birth. The children’s urine was tested at ages one, two and three. BPA was discovered in 96 of the toddler samples and 85 percent of the mom’s samples. The girls were found to have more behavioral problems by age three when the pregnant moms BPA levels were higher. This correlation was not seen in boys.
The study revealed, “increasing gestational BPA concentrations were associated with more hyperactive, aggressive, anxious, and depressed behavior and poorer emotional control and inhibition in girls.”
The chemical industry, represented by the American Chemistry Council, dismissed the study according to The Washington Post. They felt that the design of the study had “significant shortcomings” and its conclusions “are of unknown relevance to public health.” The American Chemistry Council represents members whose companies use BPA in their products.
It should be noted that this study has a very small sample size, which causes limitations. More research and studies are obviously needed. The study was funded through grants by the US government- the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences training.
By: Lisa M. Valle, D.O., FACOG