A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine found that children in low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore tend to have more asthma symptoms when levels of the synthetic chemical BPA (Bisphenol A) in their urine were elevated.
While some products, including baby bottles, no longer contain BPA, exposures to BPA remain almost universal, and there are still concerns that, especially in childhood, those exposures might have a health impact.
Boys with elevated BPA were found to be at higher risk for having more asthma symptoms, the study found. The researchers found no statistically significant link between BPA levels and asthma symptoms among the girls in the study. The researchers also found that higher levels of two common chemicals closely related to BPA — BPS and BPF — were not consistently associated with more asthma symptoms. Like BPA, BPS and BPF are found in many consumer products, including food cans and beverage bottles.
For their analysis, the researchers examined clinical data and urine samples, taken at three-month intervals over a year, from 148 predominantly Black children in Baltimore. They found consistent links between higher BPA levels in urine and measures of recent asthma severity.
The study, published July 28 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is thought to be the first to examine children’s environmental exposures to BPA, BPS, and BPF and their associations with asthma severity.