Chemical in plastic makes kids aggressive

Chemical in plastic makes kids aggressive

Researchers at Harvard University have found that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) while in the womb can make girls as young as three years aggressive and hyperactive, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

BPA, which is used to harden plastics, can be found in lining of tins and bottles and the ends of knives and forks. It is known as the gender-bending chemical as previous studies showed it interferes with the way hormones are processed.

In their research, the researchers at the university’s School of Public Health compared levels of the chemical in 244 pregnant women. Each one provided three urine samples during pregnancy, and another at birth, which were tested for BPA. When the children reached the age of one, the researchers measured their levels of BPA, and did so again over the next two years. Once the children turned three, their mothers all filled in a survey about their behaviour.

The researchers found that girls were more likely to be hyper-active, aggressive, anxious, and depressed and unable to control themselves if their mothers had recorded higher levels of BPA during pregnancy.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found no such link among boys. The researchers think that girls’ hormones may make them more sensitive to BPA. They said doctors should advise worried women to reduce their exposure to BPA during pregnancy by cutting back on tinned and packaged foods. Joe Braun, a research fellow at the university, said: “None of the children had clinically abnormal behaviour, but some had more behaviour problems than others. Thus, we examined the relationship between the mothers’ and children’s s BPA concentrations and the different behaviours.”

He added: “Gestational, but not childhood, BPA exposures may impact neurobehavioural function, and girls appear to be more sensitive to BPA than boys.”

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