Prenatal BPA Exposure Allegedly Linked to Behavioral Problems in Girls
A new study claims that prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may make girls more aggressive and exhibit hyperactive behavior. Joe M. Braun, et al., “Prenatal Bisphenol A Exposure and Early Childhood Behavior,” Environmental Health Perspectives (October 2009). Researchers at the University of North Carolina and British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University conducted the study, purportedly believed to be the first to link prenatal BPA exposure to behavioral problems in children, by measuring BPA levels in urine samples of 249 pregnant women in Cincinnati, Ohio, at 16 and 26 weeks of pregnancy, and again at birth. The children were assessed for behavioral problems when they reached age 2 through questionnaires completed by their parents.
Researchers claim BPA exposure between 13 and 16 weeks of pregnancy was most strongly associated with behavioral problems in girls, although boys were apparently also affected. “The girls showed a definite difference in temperaments,” said one of the study’s researchers. “Their behavior was actually much more like boys at the same age.” The children will continue to be monitored to see if the changes in temperament persist as they grow older.
A spokesman for the American Chemistry Council reportedly called the study flawed, saying it had “significant potential” to be misconstrued. “The results of this preliminary, and severely limited, study cannot be considered meaningful for human health unless the findings are replicated in a more robust study,” he said. See FoodProductionDaily. com, October 6 and 7, 2009.