BPA is one of a group of chemicals called phenols that are used in the manufacture of food containers, cans, plastic bottles, toys and some types of paper. Previous research suggests that phenols can interfere with hormone signals in the body.
The new research examined pregnant women's exposure to various phenols and found that the majority of women in the study had detectable levels of BPA in their urine. Children born to women with higher levels of BPA were more likely to have smaller lung capacity and to experience wheezing.
Study - Alicia - Abellan - Researcher - Barcelona
The study was presented by Alicia Abellan, a predoctoral researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the "la Caixa" Foundation. She said: "Phenols are chemicals that we are continuously exposed to in our daily lives and BPA is the most commonly used phenol.
"Phenols are known to be 'endocrine disruptors', which means they can interfere with the hormone system and consequently alter many essential body functions, including the respiratory and immune systems.
Babies - Womb - Substances - Ability - Toxic
"When babies are still in the womb, they are especially vulnerable to these substances because they have not yet established the ability to remove toxic substances, and their respiratory and immune systems are still developing."
Ms Abellan and her colleagues studied 2685 pairs of mothers and their children who were already taking part in one of eight large European research projects. Levels of the mothers' exposure to BPA and other phenols were gauged from a urine sample taken during pregnancy. The children's lung function was measured when they were aged between six and ten years. Questionnaires were also used to determine whether children suffered with wheezing.
Results - % - Women - Quantities - BPA
The results showed that 79% of the pregnant women had detectable quantities of BPA in their urine. Other less commonly used phenols, such as bisphenol S and bisphenol F, were also found...
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