Penn State Logo The chemical bisphenol A (BPA), present in synthetic packaging materials such as plastic water bottles and food containers is considered as a major reason to worry from the health perspective. Now, a study triggered by the Penn State College of Medicine asserts that exposure to BPA during early pregnancy leads to wheezing in kids. It is presumed that there are certain periods of time during pregnancy when the fetus is more vulnerable. And exposure during early pregnancy seems to be worse than exposure in later pregnancy.

During the study, 367 children were analyzed among which 99 percent were born to mothers who had detectable BPA levels in their urine while conceiving. These parents then registered incidents of wheezing on a twice-yearly basis for three years. After six months, the odds of wheezing appeared as high for children with mothers who had higher BPA than those who had mothers with lower BPA levels. Well, if investigators are to be believed, then the effects subsided as the children aged.

“Consumers need more information about the chemicals in the products they purchase so they can make informed decisions. Additional research is needed in this area to determine if changes should be made in public policy to reduce exposure to this chemical,” remarked Adam Spanier, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics.

Authors also examined the levels of BPA in the women during certain times of their pregnancies and any correlation with wheezing in their children. Higher BPA concentrations in the urine of the pregnant women at 16 weeks was supposedly linked with wheezing in their babies. Concentrations of BPA at 26 weeks or at birth however, did not appear associated with wheezing in their children.

The study was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Denver.