We’ve long known bisphenol A (BPA) isn’t safe, especially for babies. Now, new research shows the higher the amount of BPA a pregnant woman is exposed to, the more likely her child will experience wheezing during the first three years of life.
It’s exposure at 16 weeks along that researchers are most concerned about. Dr. Adam Spanier, a pediatrician and lead author of the study, says fetuses exposed to high levels of BPA at that stage had an increased risk of transient wheeze. At 6 months the infants were twice as likely to wheeze; the condition persisted for 3 years then cleared up. If moms-to-be were exposed to BPA later in pregnancy, researchers did not see the same effect.
The study included 367 pairs of mothers and infants whose BPA levels were tested at 16 and 26 weeks of gestation and again during the delivery.
“The challenge with dealing with BPA is that it has such a broad range, from zero to several thousand,” Spanier explains. “We were just looking to see if any exposure was associated with wheezing.” At 16 weeks of gestation the women in this study tested positive for BPA levels ranging from 0.4 to 37.5 micrograms per liter.
Previous studies done mainly on mice have linked BPA to potential side effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Last year the FDA concluded that there is “reason for some concern” and beefed up measures to reduce human exposure to the chemical, specifically an infant’s use of products containing BPA.
In response to the study, Steven Hentges, executive director of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group with the American Chemistry Council said this: “This small-scale study, which has not been peer-reviewed or published in the scientific literature, is inherently incapable of establishing a cause-effect relationship between any causative agent and wheezing. The statistical associations reported in this study have not been verified or corroborated by any other study on BPA, which is one of the best tested substances in commerce. Based on the full weight of scientific evidence, government agencies around the world have determined that BPA is safe for use.”
Well, of course he’d say that. He works for BPA.
Click here for a list of things you can do to limit your exposure to BPA.