Study finds a link between plastics chemical BPA and childhood asthma
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, are reporting the findings of experiments with mice that indicate exposure to bisphenol-A, or BPA, during pregnancy may increase the chances of asthma in the child.
The chemical, used in plastic bottles, linings of cans and other products, has been linked to reproductive problems and increased risk of cancer, among other maladies.
Researchers fed BPA to pregnant mice a week before they gave birth, in quantities that would produce a proportion equivalent to that which has been found in women. They then introduced a common allergy-provoking substance and measured the response in pup mice.
"All four of our indicators of asthma response showed up in the BPA group, much more so than in the pups of the non-exposed mice," said co-author Randall Goldblum.
Findings of the study will be published in the February edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.
Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed its position on the chemical, saying it deserves wider study.
Following an increasing number of governmental bans on the chemical, the six top makers of baby bottles have moved to BPA-free containers.
-- Geoff Mohan
Photo: Bisphenol-A, or BPA, has been used in baby bottles for years, raising concerns after the chemical was linked to reproductive issues and increased chances of cancer and diabetes. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times