BPA linked to wheezing in children

May 3, 2011 at 11:45 PM

DENVER, May 3 (UPI) -- In vitro exposure to the Bisphenol A, a chemical in many plastics and food containers, may increase the risk of wheezing in children, U.S. researchers suggest.

Dr. Adam Spanier, assistant professor of pediatrics at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, says the study involved 367 children, 99 percent of whom were born to mothers who had detectable BPA levels in their urine during pregnancy. The parents reported any incidents of wheezing on a twice-yearly basis for three years, Spanier says.

After six months, the odds of wheezing were twice as high for children with mothers who had higher BPA than those who had mothers with lower BPA levels, Spanier says.

However, the effects may have diminished as the children grew older, the study says.

Higher BPA concentrations in the urine of the pregnant women at 16 weeks were associated with wheezing in their babies, BPA concentrations at 26 weeks or at birth were not associated with wheezing in their children, the study says.

"This suggests that there are periods of time during pregnancy when the fetus is more vulnerable," Spanier told the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in Denver. "Exposure during early pregnancy may be worse than exposure in later pregnancy."

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