Entries in Bisphenol A (2)


Prenatal Exposure to BPA Might Affect Children's Behavior Later

BananaStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A new study in this week's Pediatrics medical journal suggests that prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in many products, including food and beverage containers, is linked to behavioral and emotional problems in 3-year-old children.

Some environmental and child health experts say the findings support the argument that BPA is harmful to children's development, a position that has been under debate for the past several years.

In the study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, and several other institutions measured BPA levels in the urine of 244 women at different times during their pregnancies and in the urine of their children at one, two and three years of age.

They found BPA in more than 97 percent of the urine samples, and discovered an association between BPA exposure and subsequent behavioral problems.

"The results of this study suggest that gestational BPA exposure might be associated with anxious, depressive and hyperactive behaviors related to impaired behavioral regulation at three years of age," wrote the authors, led by Joe Braun, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

The effects were especially strong among girls.

Despite the findings, the authors urge caution in their interpretation.

"There is considerable debate regarding the toxicity of low-level BPA exposure, and the findings presented here warrant additional research," they wrote

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report Urges FDA to Ban BPA in Food, Beverage Containers

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- An advocacy group committed to exposing and eliminating environmental risks for breast cancer has taken aim at canned foods popular among kids, reheating the debate on bisphenol A.

A new report from the Breast Cancer Fund reveals 12 canned soups and pastas found to contain BPA -- an estrogen-like chemical -- raising concern among experts for its potential health effects in children, infants and fetuses.

Topping the list was Campbell's Disney Princess Cool Shapes with 148 parts per billion.  The average level across all 12 cans was 49 parts per billion.

"The findings of this report outline the urgent need to remove BPA from food packaging -- a major source of exposure to this toxic hormone disruptor -- especially in foods marketed to children," the report states.

BPA, a key ingredient in hard plastics and resins used to coat metal cans, made headlines in 2008 when it was shown to leach out of plastic when heated.  The Canadian government responded by banning the chemical from baby bottles.  In the United States, the federal government has not followed suit, but several local governments have and leading U.S. baby bottle manufacturers went BPA-free voluntarily.  But the chemical continues to line the country's cans.

"I think they're definitely right in trying to get this chemical out of canned foods," said Dr. John Spangler, professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.  "We can't do anything about past exposures but we can do something about current exposures."

When it comes to the health effects of BPA, the jury's still out, according to the World Health Organization.  Laboratory studies in cells and animals have linked the chemical to cancer, infertility, diabetes and obesity.  But the consequences of chronic exposure in humans remain unclear.  Nevertheless, many experts and parents err on the side of caution.

"There are things we can do to minimize our exposure to BPA," Spangler said.  "We can use fresh or dried pasta and sauce in jars.  We can eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer canned foods."

Spangler said he hopes the Breast Cancer Fund report persuades canned food manufacturers to look for alternatives to BPA.

But Campbell Soup Company spokesman Anthony Sanzio said the company is confident in the safety of its products.

"The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows that the use of BPA in can lining poses no threat to human health," he said.  "That being said, we understand that consumers may have concerns about it.  We're very aware of the debate and we're watching it intently."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio