From: Editor, ENN, Sierra Club Green Home, More from this Affiliate
Published October 31, 2009 11:39 AM

Side effect of plastic: Aggressive Kids

Plastics containing Bisphenol-A have been linked to child misbehavior

Yes we know, everything causes cancer, nothing is safe for our kids, a lot of paranoia, right?

Sometimes these concerns are for real. A chemical of significant importance to parents and scientists these days is Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is a common chemical used in plastics for increased flexibility and molding. It can be found in your child’s plastic sippy cup, binkies, and even canned food. The lining found inside some canned foods is very similar to high density plastics, thus likely to contain significant levels of BPA. Numerous studies have proven that BPA can negatively impact your health. Experts have advised people to shop for BPA-free products. In general, avoiding plastics whenever possible is a good idea.


Read the label before you purchase that pair of dangly keys or canned mac’n’cheese.

Research Reveals Unpleasant News

Leaching is the process of a chemical seeping out of its original binding and into its surroundings. A university study was conducted to determine the leaching abilities of plastic bottles wherein the interaction between warm liquids and polycarbonate plastics released Bisphenol A (BPA) into the drinking solution. During the Harvard study, each student was given two polycarbonate bottles, which were not to be cleaned in the dishwasher (to void increased heat) and filled only with cold water. The students’ urine samples came back positive for a BPA increase of 69 percent. Is this a concern? The unfortunate answer is "yes" because BPA has been shown to alter the endocrine system causing early sexual development. Changes in fetal development, sperm production, and malfunctioning hormones are also results of BPA ingestion.

Recently, the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill released a study, the first of its kind, linking behavioral problems in children from women that were exposed to BPA during pregnancy. The study measured levels of BPA in urine samples at three different stages of pregnancy- the first at 16 weeks, then at 26 weeks and finally at birth. The results showed that the women who had the highest levels of BPA in their systems at the earliest stages of pregnancy had daughters who were more aggressive and hyperactive. To the scientists’ surprise, girls seemed to be the most affected while boys didn’t have a big difference in aggression but instead became more anxious and depressed. The greatest effects caused seem to be those of the earliest exposures.

Most women can be affected even before they know they are pregnant, which can later cause even greater problems for their unborn children. Last year Canada became the first country to ban BPA in baby bottles and Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us have announced they will stock only BPA-free bottles.

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