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Plastics Chemical in Dental Fillings Might Affect Children's Behavior: Study
Date:7/16/2012

By Carina Storrs
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Children who receive dental fillings made from the controversial plastics chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) could undergo small but long-term changes in their behavior, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at 534 children who had fillings for at least two cavities and examined their social skills before and five years after getting fillings.

The fillings were made of either a silver blend called amalgam, which has been phased out because it contains mercury, or plastic composites, some of which are based on bisGMA, a material made from BPA.

The children who got the highest number of bisGMA-based fillings had more emotional problems five years later than the children who got fewer of these fillings. But no such change occurred with other types of fillings.

The study appeared online July 16 and will be published in the August print issue of Pediatrics.

"It was actually kind of a surprise that instead of seeing any possible adverse associations with amalgam, that the trends seem to go the other way and the children in the composite group seemed to have more problems," said study author Nancy Maserejian, an epidemiologist at New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Mass.

"On average, the difference in social behavior scores were very small and would probably not be noticed for each individual child," Maserejian said. "But imagine a huge group of children around the country; you'd probably notice a difference."

Although it remains controversial whether BPA affects human health, previous research has linked BPA exposure to hyperactivity and aggressive behavior in young children.

Composite fillings, including the kind made from BPA, became the mainstay for treating children's cavities in the mid-90s because they were thought to be safer than mercury-containing amalgam fillings and they looked more natural
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