Researchers from Simon Fraser University, just a stone’s throw from where I sit in Vancouver, have determined that the side effects from this endocrine disruptor can alter children’s behavior:
Researchers have just linked prenatal exposure to bisphenol-A – a near-ubiquitous industrial chemical – with subtle, gender-specific alterations in behavior among two year olds. Girls whose mothers had encountered the most BPA early in pregnancy tended to become somewhat more aggressive than normal, boys became more anxious and withdrawn.
Another recent study, by Joe Braun of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (coincidentally, a slightly further stone’s throw from where I used to be at Duke) has come to similar conclusions in a paper just released in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives:
The girls appeared somewhat masculinized, the boys a bit feminized. Then again, Braun points out, it’s possible the girls’ behavior reflected a defeminization or the boys a demasculinization. In other words, the production or action of their gender-establishing sex hormones might have been blocked.
Earlier I had a bit of a kerfuffle with National Review‘s Mark Hemingway who claimed that there was no science to warrant concern over BPA’s effects on children (read the comments section of this post to see what he was hot and bothered about). Canada has made the wisest policy recommendations on BPA and has begun phasing out its use in children’s products. But, of course, Americans might object because then they can’t buy cheap plastic baby toys from Wal-Mart produced in some dungeon in Guangzhou.
I’m still waiting for Hemingway’s update where he said he’d acknowledge his errors. But then, this is the National Review so I’m not holding my breath.