HealthDay News — Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure during pregnancy may increase a child’s risk of respiratory issues, results of a study published in JAMA Pediatrics indicate.

“BPA, a prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemical, has been associated with wheezing in children, but few studies have examined its effect on lung function or wheeze in older children,” wrote Adam J. Spanier, MD, PhD, MPH, of Penn State University, and colleagues.

To test for BPA exposure, the investigators collected urine samples from 398 female patients at 16 and 26 weeks of pregnancy and followed-up with yearly samples from their children at age four and five years.

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Each 10-fold increase of BPA in a mother’s urine was associated with 14% decrease in the child’s percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration (FEV1) at age four years. In addition, a ten-fold increase in BPA at 16 weeks’ gestation was associated with more than four times the likelihood of persistent wheezing in children at age four years.

“These results provide evidence suggesting that prenatal but not postnatal exposure to BPA is associated with diminished lung function and the development of persistent wheeze in children,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Spanier A et al. JAMA Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1397