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Chemical in Plastics Linked to Behaviors in Young Girls

Bisphenol A exposure in pregnancy associated with aggression, hyperactivity in 2-year-old girls

FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Daughters born to women who were exposed in pregnancy to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin, are more likely to exhibit aggressive and hyperactive behaviors as 2-year-olds, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Joe M. Braun, of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues took urine samples of pregnant women at 16 and 26 weeks gestation and birth and quantified BPA concentrations using high performance liquid chromatography-isotope dilution-tandem mass spectrometry. The children subsequently born to the mothers were assessed at 2 years of age using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2 (BASC-II).

The researchers found that maternal BPA concentrations at 16 weeks were positively associated with BASC-II externalizing scores, aggression and hyperactivity, and that the association was stronger among females than males.

"The association between 16-week BPA concentrations and behavior problems was most apparent among women who had urine measurements taken ≤16 weeks gestation. The reported associations and interaction between child sex and timing of BPA exposure should be tempered with the potential for exposure misspecification, residual confounding, and limited statistical power," the authors write.

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