Wheezing Infants Linked to Mothers' BPA Exposure

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Pregnancy Health

wheezing infant

Ninety percent of Americans are exposed to Bisphenol A. Credit: Getty Images

If your infant is wheezing a lot, it could be because you were exposed to a certain kind of plastic early in your pregnancy.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in many hard plastic containers as well as water bottles and inside metal food and beverage cans. In fact, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, at least 90 percent of Americans are exposed to it.

US News & World Report reports researchers found a link between respiratory problems in newborns and BPA levels in their mothers during pregnancy.

Researchers looked at 367 mothers and infants, measuring BPA levels in the mothers' urine at the 16th and 26th week of pregnancy, as well as when the women gave birth. Parents then reported signs of wheezing in their babies every six months for three years.

Babies at 6 months were twice as likely to wheeze if their mothers had high levels of BPA during pregnancy. However, the symptoms eventually went away and there were no differences in wheezing rates by the time the children were 3 years old, the magazine reports.

"Consumers need more information about the chemicals in the products they purchase so they can make informed decisions," lead author Adam J. Spanier, an assistant professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, tells US News & World Report. "Additional research is needed in this area to determine if changes should be made in public policy to reduce exposure to this chemical."

He suggested women thinking about getting pregnant avoid products made with BPA for the time being.

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