by Julia Ward
Recently, there have been links between bisphenol A (‘BPA’) and emotional and behavioral problems in young girls. BPA is used to make plastic containers and the liner in canned foods. It is also found in dental sealants and some cash register receipts made from thermal paper (so be careful what you touch!). The study was conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, and Simone Fraser University in Vancouver.
It is obvious from the above listed products that contain BPA, that basically anyone that lives in an industrialized nation is exposed to BPA at many points in their life. From the study, it was concluded that gestational BPA subjection was linked to behavioral problems at age three, especially in girls.
244 mothers and their three-year old children participated in this study. The mothers provided three urine samples throughout their pregnancy and at birth as well. The urine was then tested for BPA. Their children were also tested each year from ages one to three, and when the child turned three years old, the mother filled out a survey about their behavior in the past three years.
It was discovered that the children have more behavioral problems than others when their mother consumed BPA at some point during her pregnancy. BPA was detected in over 85 percent of the urine samples from the mothers and over 96 percent of the children’s urine samples. The girls with high levels of BPA were usually more hyperactive, violent, worried, and sad, while also illustrating poor emotional control and inhibition. But, it is interesting to note that these emotional differences were not seen in boys.
If you are concerned about your exposure to BPA, avoid canned and packaged foods, thermal paper cash register receipts, and polycarbonate bottles with the number 7 on the bottom. By staying away from plastic bottles and reducing your consumption of canned foods, you will also reduce the amount of waste that results from these products. Purchase a BPA free plastic bottle that you can use continuously (many companies today have switched to BPA, reusable plastic bottles because they know the risks associated with BPA products). Buy local and organic food which has less of a chance of being in a can. While it may be pretty impossible to reduce the use of the products containing BPA altogether, you can begin to take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to BPA gradually.