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Aggression in Girls May Be Linked to BPA

Study Shows Prenatal Exposure to Plastic Chemical May Affect Kids' Behavior
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Second Opinion

The federal government's National Toxicology Program has initiated research that should provide a clearer picture of the effects, if any, of BPA on health, National Toxicology Program Associate Director John R. Bucher, PhD, tells WebMD.

Last fall, the National Toxicology Program issued a report examining the potential health impact of BPA exposure from commercial products, concluding that there was cause for "some concern" about the effects of current exposures on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland development of fetuses, infants, and children.

The National Toxicology Program concluded that while the human studies were lacking, many of the almost 1,000 animal studies showed that BPA exposure at relatively low levels can influence certain aspects of fetal development.

But American Chemistry Council executive director of the polycarbonate/BPA global group Steve Hentges, PhD, calls the research as a whole "reassuring."

"The weight of the evidence continues to indicate that trace levels of bisphenol A are not a health risk," he says.

Hentges tells WebMD that one major problem with the newly published study, and with all human studies, is that there is no consensus on how to best measure BPA in the body.

BPA comes from the foods we eat, so over the course of the day levels can vary dramatically, making it difficult to assess exposure with a single measurement.

He says the study's small sample size may have also influenced the findings. And he points out that the behavioral differences seen in the children were small.

"Even if you took at face value that there is an association, it is not clear what the clinical or medical significance would be since these children did not meet the standard for behavior problems," he says.

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