RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—If a most-wanted list existed to target chemicals believed to damage children’s health, bisphenol A, or BPA would be among the top entries on the list. A growing body of research is linking BPA exposure not just to diabetes, heart disease, and other adult ailments, but also to neurological impairment and developmental problems in children.
But BPA-laden baby bottles and food packaging aren’t the first exposure route for babies. In fact, exposure starts much earlier, during a mother’s pregnancy. Depending on the exposure and timing of exposure, whatever BPA a mother is ingesting could be setting her baby up for health problems. New research presented Monday at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Denver speaks to that: Babies born to moms with higher BPA levels during pregnancy are more likely to experience wheezing early in life. “Rates of asthma in kids have more than doubled in the last few decades. It is not likely that our genes have changed that quickly, so many suspect that there are some environmental exposures that may be responsible for this increase,” explains lead study author Adam Spanier, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine.