BPA, childhood asthma linked

Children with “routine” levels more likely to develop respiratory disease

The chemical bisphenol A (BPA), commonly used in household plastics, has been linked to childhood asthma, according to a new study.

A Columbia University research team tested 568 children and their mothers in New York City, finding that children with “routine” levels of BPA at ages 3, 5 and 7 were more likely to develop respiratory disease between the ages of 5 and 12, according to Environmental Health News. The study’s authors noted that a firm conclusion is difficult to draw, as measuring BPA exposure is tricky—the chemical has a short half-life and will leave a human’s system after about 24 hours.

BPA—used to make polycarbonate plastics, and found in some canned food and beverages, plastic containers and other household items—has been tied to neurological and developmental disorders and is believed to disrupt endocrine-system function in humans and wildlife.