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BPA May Raise Risk of Asthma in Kids
Date:2/28/2010

Mouse study shows exposure during pregnancy might increase chances of condition

SUNDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Mouse pups whose mothers were exposed to a common but controversial chemical developed allergic asthma, new research has found.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical commonly found in polycarbonate plastic bottles and the aluminum lining of food and beverage cans. Production of the chemical started about 40 years ago, a timing that scientists note coincides with increasing asthma rates.

Various U.S. health agencies recently pledged $30 million toward short- and long-term research aimed at clarifying the health effects of BPA. It has caused problems in lab animals and in people who have had occupational exposure. On Thursday, Maryland became the third state to tackle the issue, when the state legislature passed a ban on BPA in cups and bottles used by children younger than age 4. Minnesota and Connecticut passed similar laws last year.

Although the newest study looked only at mice, several experts believed that the findings could be worrisome for humans.

"They're using what are probably going to be reasonable estimates of human neonatal exposure, and that seems to have an effect on the developing immune system or sensitivity to asthma," said Dr. Steve Georas, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine and director of the Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy and Pulmonary Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "If you take it together with some epidemiologic studies, I would consider it cause for concern."

Dr. Erick Forno, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine added that "the mice they used are very well-accepted models for asthma and allergies so it should be a very good model of what we would expect to happen in humans, although that is not always the case."

The findings were to be presented Sunda
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