Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BPA and the Long Term Behavioral Effects on Unborn Girls

Not to our surprise, the plot surrounding BPA and the ways it affects our health thickens.  A new study came out this week with some interesting results.  A group of scientists measured the BPA levels in urine from several hundred pregnant women, and over the course of several years they measured the BPA levels in urine of the women’s children.  BPA has already been linked to obesity, neurological diseases, thyroid disease, and cancer; and this new study has added another bullet point to the laundry list: BPA may even affect behavior.

BPA is a common additive in many plastics that can mimic some hormones in the body.  For this reason BPA is especially harmful during the prenatal stages of life and during early childhood development.  Of the 244 women in the study who had high levels of BPA in their urine during pregnancy, scientists found that their 3-year-old children were more likely to have behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, aggression and depression.  This was especially true for girls. BPA levels in children after birth were not found to be linked to these increased behavior issues, so it seems that this finding is particularly significant for pregnant women.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with other experts, has made the following suggestions to help reduce the level of BPA we are exposed to:

·         Choose stainless steel water bottles or glass water bottles.
·         Use glass containers in the microwave rather than plastic containers.  Heating up plastics increases the chances that BPA will be released into your food.
·         Cut back on buying and eating canned foods, which also may contain BPA.  Go for fresh fruits and vegetables instead!

~ Jessica


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