January 8, 2013 (New York, NY) – Bisphenol-A (BPA) was detected in at least 94% of urine samples from a group of urban mothers and children, according to researchers at Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (the Center) at the Mailman School of Public Health.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical that is found in certain plastics and has applications in everyday consumer products such as baby bottles, toys, reusable water bottles, medical equipment, food and beverage can linings, and glass jar tops. Diet is the most common route of BPA exposure. Past research has linked BPA with health effects such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and metabolic disorders.
This new study looked at 568 mothers and children who are enrolled in the Center’s Mothers & Newborns study. Researchers, led by Center investigator Lori Hoepner, analysed BPA concentrations found in urine samples collected prenatally and at ages 3, 5 and 7 years. They detected BPA in 94% of prenatal samples and at least 96% of the childhood samples. The maternal prenatal BPA concentrations were significantly lower than those of their children. Additionally, they found concentrations were significantly higher among African Americans as compared to Dominicans. BPA concentrations were also correlated with concentrations of another chemical of concern, phthalates.
The findings of this new study demonstrate that BPA exposure is widespread throughout an inner-city community. Additionally, the level of exposure varied depending on social and demographic characteristics, such as ethnicity and marriage status of the mother. This suggests important considerations for future analysis and the need for considering combinations of chemical exposure.
Additional authors include Robin M Whyatt, Allan C. Just, Antonia M. Calafat, Frederica P. Perera and Andrew G. Rundle.