Study Links BPA to Anxiety, Depression in Children

Bisphenol A (BPA) is, again, being linked to more adverse health reactions. We recently discussed emerging breast cancer-BPA links; now, a study reveals that the estrogenic polycarbonate plastic hardener has been associated with increased anxiety and depression in preschoolers exposed to BPA in the womb.

Although an industry spokesman described the study as flawed, arguing that other studies deemed BPA safe, it is important to note that two studies on which industry and other pro-BPA groups have relied were, in fact, conducted by industry.

In truth, notes WebMD, and as we’ve long explained, BPA is structurally similar to the hormone, estrogen. Estrogenic exposure on the developing fetus and growing children has long been a point of concern given that this sort of exposure has been known to lead to adverse biologic effects; this demographic is more susceptible to adverse health effects since the body is still developing.

We have long discussed that BPA interrupts sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children and has been linked to toxic injury and implications in cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy treatment, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems in males as young as the developing fetus. We also recently wrote that BPA was linked to breast cancer for the second time in recent days .

This recent study found that preschoolers exposed to increased BPA level in the womb suffer more anxiety and depression and also have diminished self-control, according to WebMD. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics and is among the first to link in utero BPA exposure to behavioral effects in young children, said WebMD.

The team followed 244 mothers and their babies from pregnancy through the child’s third year, measuring BPA levels in three urine samples taken from pregnant women and the children at yearly study visits, said WebMD. When the children reached age three, they were given two “well-regarded” psychological tests to evaluate behavior and self-control; BPA levels were not discussed with parents prior to testing, said WebMD.

The researchers found mothers with increased BPA urine levels during pregnancy had three-year-olds with increased anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity, WebMD explained. The girls’ hyperactivity was about twice as high as the boys. Researchers accounted for elements known to influence behavioral development in children, said WebMD, such as the mother’s “IQ and education, breastfeeding, household income, maternal depression, and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Industry has long maintained BPA’s safety and government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services, have never issued final decisions on BPA’s effects. BPA, which leaches into products, whether heated or cold, and into the skin, is a component in a growing number of consumer products including food and beverage can linings, CDs and DVDs, dental sealants, nautical resins, thermal receipt paper, and even in canned foods marketed to children.

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