Prenatal bisphenol A exposure ups risk of allergic diseases in female babies
Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) poses an increased risk of allergic diseases at a very early life in female infants, a study suggests.
Researchers looked at 412 women, examining their BPA concentrations in urine samples collected at delivery. All women later completed questionnaires to determine the occurrence of allergic diseases, such as eczema and wheeze, in infants at age 6 months.
Compared with mothers of infants without allergic diseases, mothers of neonates who developed allergic diseases had markedly higher urinary BPA levels (median, 4.55 vs 2.35 µg/l; p=0.03). Logistic regression analysis found an association between the increased risk of infant allergic diseases and creatinine-adjusted maternal urinary BPA concentrations. Such association was pronounced among female infants (odds ratio [OR], 1.36; 95 percent CI, 1.10 to 1.79) but not among males. When analysis was stratified by maternal age, the association was only significant among infants of mothers who were aged <25 years (OR, 1.90; 1.09 to 3.29).
Belonging to the class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, BPA is used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, such as food containers and can linings, with exposure levels detectable in more than 90 percent of human urine samples in previous surveys. The estimated exposure levels range from 0.01 to 13 μg/kg/day in children and are about 4.2 μg/kg/day in adults. [Endocrinology 2015;156, 882–895; Health Rep 2010;21:7–18]
BPA has been reported to easily cross the placenta, underscoring the potential harmful effects of BPA exposure on the foetus. Prenatal BPA exposure is said to negatively affect the immune function of the offspring. The effects include the augmentation of the T helper 1 and 2 immune responses, and allergic sensitization-induced allergic airway inflammation. [Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;202:393.e1–7; Immunology 2004;112:489–95; PLoS One 2014;9:e100468]