A new study suggests that the plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is responsible for an increased risk of children developing asthma.
While outlawed from many children’s products, BPA is still used in the lining of metal cans that can store food. The product is also used in store check-out receipts, which use thermal paper in place of traditional ink cartridges.
Researchers in the study also noted that BPA has been linked to other problems including obesity, increased blood sugar levels, and behavioral issues.
According to lead researcher Dr. Kathleen Donohue, who tells US News:
“As in all such studies, what we see is an association, not necessarily causation, but our finding suggests that BPA exposure during childhood may increase the risk of asthma. Asthma prevalence increased over the past 30 years, which suggests that some as-yet-undiscovered environmental exposures may be implicated.”
Reported in the March issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the study suggests that even a tiny bit of exposure to BPA can increase a child’s chances of developing asthma.
Researchers investigated 568 women along with their newborns and their environmental exposures. The team then examined the levels of BPA found in each case participant’s urine. Researchers examined a mother’s urine during the third trimester of pregnancy and then tested again when the children were 3, 5, and 7 years old.
The study led to the discovery that 90 percent of children had BPA in their bodies. The researchers also found that children exposed to BPA after birth had an increased risk of wheezing and asthma. Even when researchers took second hand smoke and other environmental considerations into account, the results remained the same.
While researchers are still not sure why such a relationship exists between BPA and asthma, they believe it has something to do with how BPA affects a person’s immune system.
The study may only show a “modest” connection to BPA and asthma, but that “modest” connection puts researchers right in line with other similar studies that have found a connection between childhood asthma and BPA exposure.
New Study Links BPA and Childhood Asthma: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-study-links-bpa-and-childhood-asthma
Plastics Chemical BPA Tied to Higher Asthma Risk in Kids: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/01/plastics-chemical-bpa-tied-to-higher-asthma-risk-in-kids
BPA Free: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/bpa%20free