Boys exposed to higher Bisphenol-A (BPA) concentrations as a fetus or during early childhood were more likely to suffer from anxiety, aggression, depression and hyperactivity at age 7, according to a new study. No association was found for girls. The new research adds to a growing body of evidence linking BPA to behavioral problems in children.
Read Prenatal and childhood BPA exposure linked to anxiety, hyperactivity in boys
Environmental Health News, 25 Jul 2013.
Prenatal and Early Childhood Bisphenol A Concentrations and Behavior in School-Aged Children, NCBI PubMed PMC380575, 2013 Jul 17.
Early life exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical used in some food and beverage containers, receipts, and dental sealants, has been associated with anxiety and hyperactivity in animal studies. A few human studies also show prenatal and childhood BPA exposure to be associated with behavior problems in children.
We measured BPA in urine from mothers during pregnancy and children at 5 years of age (N = 292). Child behavior was assessed by mother and teacher report at age 7 years and direct assessment at age 9 years.
Prenatal urinary BPA concentrations were associated with increased internalizing problems in boys, including anxiety and depression, at age 7. No associations were seen with prenatal BPA concentrations and behaviors in girls. Childhood urinary BPA concentrations were associated with increased externalizing behaviors, including conduct problems, in girls at age 7 and increased internalizing behaviors and inattention and hyperactivity behaviors in boys and girls at age 7.
This study adds to the existing literature showing associations of early life BPA exposure with behavior problems, including anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity in children. Additional information about timing of exposure and sex differences in effect is still needed.