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Pregnant women’s exposure to BPA linked to behavior of toddler girls, study says

From elsewhere in The Post: Women with high levels of bisphenol A in their urine were more likely to report that their young girls were hyperactive, aggressive, anxious, depressed and less in control of their emotions than mothers with low levels of the chemical, says a new study.

“While several studies have linked BPA to behavioral problems in children, this report is the first to suggest that a young girl’s emotional well-being is linked to her mother’s exposure during pregnancy rather than the child’s exposure after birth,” writes Dina ElBoghdady in an article on the government-funded study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. “Girls were more sensitive to the chemical in the womb than boys, maybe because BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen, which is thought to play a role in behavioral development.”

BPA is found in soda cans, food containers, plastic bottles and other consumer products. For years researchers have suggested exposure to the chemical poses health risks in humans.

The government study tracked 224 moms in the Cincinnati area and their 3-year-olds. Authors of the study note that their results may be skewed “by the eating habits of the mothers observed,” writes ElBoghdady. “For more than 40 years, BPA has been used to make plastic bottles and the lining of metal-based cans. It’s possible that mothers who ate a lot of packaged foods simply didn’t eat enough nutrients essential for brain development, said Joe M. Braun, the study’s lead author.”

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