A new study from the United States has found that a chemical found in many plastics in use every day could be causing behavioural and emotional problems in unborn baby girls in later life. Previous studies have shown that biosphenol (or BPA), which is often used in the manufacture of tin cans and plastic water bottles, is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
This new research involved examining urine samples from pregnant 244 women and again at birth, comparing them to samples from their children when aged between one and three. BPA was shown to be present in 85 per cent of the women’s samples and in more than 96 per cent of the samples from their children. Maternal BPA concentrations were revealed to be about the same between the first sample and birth.
Although none of the children had clinically abnormal behaviour, some had more behaviour problems than others, allowing the scientists to investigate the relationship between a mother’s and their child’s BPA concentrations and the different behaviours.
Lead researcher Joe Brau, from Harvard School of Public Health, commented “The study confirms two prior studies showing that exposure to BPA in the womb impacts child behaviour, but is the first to show that in utero exposures are more important than exposures during childhood.”
With more work needed to better identify the health issues, it has been recommended that pregnant women minimise their exposure to BPA by avoiding canned and packaged foods.

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