Lori Hoepner, Robin M Whyatt, Allan C. Just, Antonia M. Calafat, Frederica P. Perera and Andrew G. Rundle of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health in New York said BPA was a chemical found in certain plastics and has applications in everyday consumer products. It is found in toys, reusable water bottles, medical equipment, food and beverage can linings and glass jar tops.
Diet is the most common route of BPA exposure, but it is also in store receipts. Past research has linked BPA with health effects such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and metabolic disorders, the researchers said.
The study involved 568 mothers and children enrolled in the Center's Mothers & Newborns study. Study leader Hoepner and colleagues analysed BPA concentrations found in urine samples collected prenatally and at ages 3, 5 and 7 years.
The study detected BPA in 94 percent of prenatal samples and at least 96 percent of the childhood samples, but the maternal prenatal BPA concentrations were significantly lower than those of their children.
Additionally, the study found concentrations were significantly higher among African-Americans as compared to Dominicans.
BPA concentrations were also correlated with concentrations of another chemical of concern, phthalates, used to soften plastics to increase their flexibility and found in a variety of products including enteric coatings of pharmaceutical pills and nutritional supplements, adhesives, electronics, building materials, personal care products, medical devices, detergents, children's toys, modeling clay, waxes, paint, ink, pharmaceuticals, food products and textiles, the researchers said.