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BPA Exposure in Womb Linked to Behavioral Woes in Girls
Date:10/24/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Girls who are exposed to high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) while in their mother's womb may be more likely to show signs of behavioral and emotional problems as toddlers, new research finds.

BPA is a chemical widely used in plastic and other household products. In the study, 244 mothers gave urine samples that were tested for BPA while they were pregnant and shortly after giving birth. Their children's urine was tested for BPA at ages 1, 2 and 3.

The vast majority of had some level of BPA in their urine, including 85 percent of moms and more than 96 percent of the children.

Researchers found no connection between girls' or boys' levels of BPA in early childhood and their behavior. Nor did they find a link between the mothers' BPA levels during pregnancy and boys' behavior.

However, researchers did find that the higher the moms' BPA concentration levels during pregnancy, the more likely their daughters were to have higher scores on measures of anxiety, depression and hyperactivity, and poorer emotional control and inhibition at age 3.

None of the girls' behavior, which was described by their mothers in questionnaires, was out of the range of normal, noted study author Joe Braun, a research fellow in environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health.

"What we found was that the mothers' concentrations of BPA in urine during pregnancy were associated with behavioral problems in daughters at 3 years of age, but we didn't find this relation between mothers' BPA and the boys, and we also didn't observe any relationship between the child's BPA concentrations and behavioral problems," Braun said. "These results suggest that the girls may be more vulnerable to the effects of gestational BPA exposures and there is this unique window of brain development that is susceptible to BPA exposures."

The study is published in the
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