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BPA Exposure in Pregnancy Linked to Behavior Changes in Toddlers

Posted Nov 18 2009 10:05pm

Bisphenol-A (BPA) has already been linked to loads of problems, but now scientists ask, is it making our kids mean, too? The latest research links BPA exposure during early pregnancy with behavior changes in two-year-old girls and boys.

According to the study published in the October issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, the higher a mother’s BPA levels were during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, the more likely kids were to exhibit the behavior changes. Girls were more aggressive and hyperactive than the norm while boys were more anxious and withdrawn.

The study also examined the effects of a mom’s exposure to lead and cigarettes, oddly enough neither one was linked to toddler behavior changes.

More research is needed to confirm the link and to find out if the behavioral problems will continue, but studies on mice suggest that they will. And that’s what concerns the one of the study’s authors Bruce Lanphear of Simon Fraser University. If the kids don’t outgrow these behaviors and they become prominent across the population imagine what could happen to the number of delinquent or depressed teens.

The estrogen-mimicking chemical, which is found in hard polycarbonate plastics, like some water bottles, and in food can linings, is tough to stay away from. Even BPA-free baby bottles leach BPA, notoriously BPA-free Sigg bottles found the chemical in their linings and now receipts seem to be one of the biggest culprits. Over 99 percent of the women in the study tested positive for BPA for at least one of the three urine samples during her pregnancy. Scary stuff!

So what can pregnant women do? Reduce your exposure to BPA as much as you can. Stay away from hard plastic drinking containers and food storage containers and look for BPA-free products.

Photo by Monroe’s Dragonfly on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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