The Dangers of BPA

BPA and Autism Reactions

Bispheonl-A may not be a word that everyone recognizes. Does “BPA” ring a bell?

Plastic, however, is a material that we are all familiar with. It is most commonly used in food and beverage container manufacturing because it is convenient and affordable. Unfortunately, there may be a few factors other than expedience at play with BPA products.

In a recent study conducted by Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and Rutgers Medical School, researchers have found that BPA materials are not metabolized normally by children with ASD. Generally, although the long-term effects of BPA ingestion are hotly debated, it has not been known to cause an immediately visible problem for typically developing children. However, consumption of the BPA chemical has been observed to cause noticeable harm to children with autism.

Most of the time, BPA is broken down into a water-soluble substance within the body during digestion; later, it is converted to a glucuronide (a metabolizer used in breaking down toxins and pollutants). Subjects with ASD exhibit abnormal processes, shown in the metabolites and BPA excreted in their urine. In the present study, the children with ASD showed much greater BPA excretion than would be expected, demonstrating a potential risk. This risk is that the BPA is not fully broken down by the bodies of individuals with ASD, and therefore may cause damage to their systems.

This is the first human study that demonstrates a link between BPA and ASD. Results imply that overexposure to BPA products during pregnancy may negatively affect the later cognitive functioning of the fetus. As of right now, this research is still too new to draw any firm conclusions. Nevertheless, it is important to keep these findings in mind as the topic is explored further.

Sara Power, Fordham University

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