On June 3, 2015 the UK-based advocacy group for chemical safety CHEM Trust reported on a new peer-reviewed study that links altered parenting behavior in mice to exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7). The researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia, U.S. exposed mice to either the female hormone ethinyl estradiol (EE) or BPA during early development. The California mouse was used as test species because, similar to humans, it exhibits monogamous and biparental behavior. BPA exposure levels administered in the study were considered to be similar to those found in pregnant women. Researchers Sarah Johnson, Cheryl Rosenfeld and colleagues found that females who were developmentally exposed to either BPA or EE spent less time nursing than control, non-exposed females. Thus the offspring likely did not receive the normal health benefits attributed to nursing. Also, males and females exposed to EDCs during development were found to spend more time out of the nest and away from their offspring compared to the controls. This suggests that biparental care was reduced. Michael Warhurst of CHEM Trust considers the findings of this study worrisome because BPA may affect important parenting behavior. Consumers are exposed to BPA e.g. via food cans and thermal paper receipts. Governments across Europe should push to phase out BPA exposure, Warhurst urges.
Michael Warhurst (June 3, 2015). “Chemical found in till receipts affects parenting behaviour in mice.” CHEM Trust
Science Daily (June 3, 2015). “BPA can adversely affect parenting behavior in mice.”
Johnson, S. A. et al (2015). “Disruption of parenting behaviors in California mice, a monogamous rodent species, by endocrine disrupting chemicals.” PLoS ONE 10(6): e0126284.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126284 (open access).