Study finds connection between prenatal exposure to BPA and aggression during toddler years

Thursday, December 01, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: BPA, prenatal exposure, health news

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(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Harvard University School of Public Health have made a disturbing new discovery about the plastics chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). It turns out that prenatal BPA exposure can spur aggressive and undesirable behaviors in girls after they are born and reach their toddler years.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study analyzed a group of 244 mothers and their three-year-old daughters living in the Cincinnati, Oh., area. The study team gathered and studied gestational and childhood BPA exposures using urine samples from the mothers, and compared various exposure levels among the children to their respective behavioral profiles.

The team discovered that for each ten-fold increase in gestational BPA exposure levels, young girls exhibited significantly more indicators of anxiety and depression than their less- or non-exposed counterparts. Young girls exposed to high BPA levels were also more emotionally disturbed than the others and had a more difficult time controlling their inhibitions.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly funded the study as part of an investigation into the safety of BPA.

"Parents should be concerned about these findings," says study author Joe Braun. "As the mothers concentration of BPA rose, the girls born to those mothers had higher scores on these behavior problem indices. If pregnant women or parents are concerned about exposure to BPA, they can try to reduce it by limiting their exposure to canned foods and packaged foods."

Although these particular findings were limited strictly to females, previous studies have found a similar connection between prenatal BPA exposure and poor behavior in both sexes. Back in 2009, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that BPA's endocrine-disrupting effects can harm both girls and boys.

Besides impairing proper neurological development, which is likely the reason for behavior problems later in life, prenatal BPA exposure was found to "masculinize" unborn females, and "feminize" unborn males. It appears, based on that study, that BPA actually blocks the proper growth and development of human sex hormones (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/4...).

Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), however, continue to insist that BPA is safe, despite the plethora of scientific data showing that the chemical is harmful.

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