The current study included 249 pregnant women from Cincinnati, Ohio, who were part of another study that was evaluating interventions to reduce lead levels. Urine samples were collected when the mothers were 16 and 26 weeks pregnant, as well as within 24 hours of birth.
Ninety-nine percent of the women had at least one urine sample with detectable levels of BPA, according to the study.
The children's behavior was reported by the parents using a standardized questionnaire when the children were 2 years old.
After controlling the data to account for numerous possible confounding factors, such as maternal age, race, education and income levels, the researchers didn't find an association between BPA and externalizing behaviors. However, when they split the data by sex, they noted an association between higher BPA levels and more externalizing behaviors in girls.
Braun said that the researchers don't know why there was a difference in the findings by sex, nor did they know what the potential biological mechanism might be that could cause an increase in aggressive behaviors after BPA exposure.
The researchers did not adjust the data in this study to account for lead exposure, diet or after-birth exposure to BPA. Braun said that the researchers did test additional statistical models to account for lead exposure that weren't included in the paper, and he said that when this was done lead levels didn't change their findings.
However, "once you consider the limitations of the study, as the authors carefully do, there's significant potential for false positives," contended Hentges.
Braun said that parents who are worried about the potential for harm can look for products that specify that they're "BPA-free." He said the chemical is found in many
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