A new study has found that a child exposed to BPA (bisphenol A) while in there mother’s womb is more likely to suffer more anxiety and depression and have less self-control. BPA is an organic compound (a polycarbonate) that is used to make plastic and it is found in many consumer products, particularly plastic bottles and food packaging.
The study found monitored 244 mothers through their pregnancy and monitor their children until the age of three. The study measured the BPA levels in the pregnant women and their children by measuring the BPA levels in three urine samples. The children’s samples were taken during the yearly visits with the study’s researchers. Additionally, after each child turned three years old, the researchers had the parents send their child to be evaluated by two reputable psychologists that the researchers had chosen. The psychologists evaluated the children on their self-control abilities and their behavior.
The researchers did not find a link between children’s behavior and the BPA levels in the children’s urine; however, they did find a link between the elevated BPA level in the mother’s urine and their child’s behavior. The children of the mother’s whose urine had an increased level of BPA suffered from more anxiety, depression and hyperactivity then the children whose mother’s urine had normal levels of BPA.
Further, the study found that the anxiety and depression rate were nearly twice as high if the child was female, and though not as large of a difference hyperactivity was increased as well. The researchers found all of these conclusions to still be true even after they took into consideration other behavioral factors that might affect anxiety, depression and hyperactivity, such as breastfeeding and income. The study determined that the exposure while in the womb was more significant than any exposure outside during childhood.
The study’s researchers did note that the behavioral differences were small and there is no way to know yet whether they will have a significant or long term impact on an affected child’s life. However, they did determine that women should try to limit their exposure to BPA while pregnant. Further, consuming organic or unpackaged food can reduce the presence of BPA in a person’s body.
In response, the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group responded to the findings of this study stating that the study has flaws and both the study’s design and conclusion and referred to other studies performed across the globe which have found BPA safe to use.
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