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BPA in Pregnant Women Can Cause Behavior problems

South Carolina Defective Drug Lawyers

CNN is reporting that when pregnant women continue to eat foods that are stored in cans or packed containing bisphenol A or BPA, they may increase the likelihood that their born child will develop behavioral problems by their third birthday.

Scientists took urine samples from 244 pregnant women living in and around Cincinnati twice during their pregnancies, and again right after they gave birth to measure their BPA concentration level.

Scientists further tested each woman’s child upon reaching the age of three for BPA exposure. They discovered that when the mother’s BPA level was high, the child  had an increased risk of showing signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression. The study, released today in the journal Pediatrics, found that the  behavior problems occurred in girls – not in boys.

Researchers said they are unable to explain why explain why.  They said they believe that when mothers ingest BPA, the fetus absorbs the chemical which can lead to increased levels of testosterone in girls, ultimately affecting how their organs develop in utero.  This increase would explain why some girls develop behavioral problems.

“Our study is consistent with some of the animal studies that say that BPA impacts brain development in monkeys and rodents,” explains study author Joe Braun with the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health inBoston.

Bisphenol A or BPA is a manufacturing chemical used to produce hard plastic bottles and re-usable cups. It’s also found in the lining of canned foods and beverages plus some types of liquid baby formula.

BPA is also known as an endocrine disrupter, which means it interferes with how hormones and chemical signs work in the body.  When this happens and signals are blocked or changed, organs sometimes do not develop normally.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents plastics manufacturers, told CNN it strongly supports investigations and research that will lead to better scientific understanding of chemicals.

The council released a statement saying “the study released in Pediatrics has significant shortcomings in study design and the conclusions are of unknown relevance to public health. The researchers themselves acknowledge that it had statistical deficiencies, including its small sample size and the potential for the results being due to chance alone.”

A few years ago, the Food and Drug Administration analyzed available research and concluded that food items containing BPA were safe. However, two years later in 2010, the FDA changed that assessment somewhat, saying that the “FDA shares the perspective of the National Toxicology Program that recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

Large scale clinical trials are now under way to look into the effects of low-dose BPA to give scientists more definitive answers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and have several suggestions for limiting BPA exposure such as:

  • Avoid using plastic containers with recycle codes 3 and 7 because they may be made with BPA.
  • Reduce your consumption of canned foods; choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead.
  • Use glass containers to heat foods in the microwave, instead of polycarbonate plastic food containers because high temperatures may break down the chemical and increase the chances of BPA entering your food.

By: Pete Strom, South Carolina Defective Drug Lawyer



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