A study published on July 17, 2013 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Research links prenatal and early childhood exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) to hyperactivity, depression and anxiety in school-aged boys (Harley et al. 2013). The researchers from the University of California, U.S., and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated the effects of early BPA exposure on behavior in school children. Harley and colleagues measured urinary BPA during pregnancy and at age 5 and assessed behavior using maternal and teacher reports at age 7, and an attention and hyperactivity test at age 9. The mothers and children were part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS). Almost all children were Hispanic, and more than 70 percent lived below the poverty level. BPA levels were low in comparison to levels measured in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (1.1 µg/L vs. 2.4 µg/L in NHANES 2003-2004), but the spot measurements may not be representative of children’s long term exposure. The study associated prenatal exposure with depression and anxiety at age 7 in boys, and exposure at age 5 with hyperactivity, internalizing problems, anxiety, depression, inattention and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in girls and boys age 7. This is the first study to link BPA exposure to behavioral problems in boys. Previous study could only establish an association in girls.
Harley, K. (2013). “Prenatal and early childhood bisphenol A concentrations and behavior in school-aged children.” Environmental Research (published online July 17, 2013).