More BPA is dangerous misinformation

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BPA is in the news yet again, and this time it is being linked to childhood asthma. According to the new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, children who are exposed to BPA are at an increased risk for asthma. But from reading the article, we found a paucity of data to support that assertion. In fact, maybe just the opposite.

The study involved 568 women from the Mothers and Newborns study which measured BPA exposure using urine samples taken during the third trimester of pregnancy, and in kids ages 3, 5 and 7 years. Asthma was diagnosed by doctors between the ages of 5 and 12 based on symptoms, medical history and a pulmonary function test. After adjusting for various risk factors, including secondhand smoke, researchers claimed that BPA was linked to increased risk of wheeze and asthma.

In fact, in the third trimester, exposure to BPA actually demonstrated an inverse relationship with the development with asthma at 5 years of age. This seems implausible considering exposure to BPA remains constant during the course of a pregnancy.

Dr. Kathleen Donohue, assistant professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and lead author of the study commented: Elevated risk for wheeze and asthma was shown at fairly routine, low doses of exposure to BPA. Like most other scientists studying BPA, we do not see a straightforward linear dose-response relationship.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross noted some other logical flaws in the authors conclusions. Since they assert that asthma prevalence has increased dramatically over the last 30 years, I wonder how they can tie that to BPA, exposure to which has not varied significantly over that same time period. Further, excusing the lack of a linear dose-response relationship by referring to other studies also not finding such seems like stretching the results to fit preconceived conclusions.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom comments, I ve seen some god-awful papers, but this one breaks new ground. Not only is there no dose response between BPA exposure and asthma, but the authors actually contradict themselves (with a straight face) in the paper. Their observation that BPA exposure in the 3rd trimester has an inverse correlation with asthma begs the question as to why the title wasn t BPA exposure decreases asthma in children. This is just as valid a title as the one they used. Another suggestion: Here a bunch of useless numbers which we used to make idiots out of ourselves .