HealthDay News – Higher levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make certain plastics and resins, may cause more severe asthma symptoms in children, according to a study published online July 28 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues used clinical data and urine samples from the Mouse Allergen and Asthma Cohort Study to measure the BPA exposure of 148 mostly African-American and low-income children (aged 5 to 17 years) with asthma in Baltimore and see how their levels of BPA exposure impacted their asthma symptoms.

The researchers found levels of BPA in the urine samples that were, on average, similar to the levels found in one other study of low-income minority children in the United States but several times higher than levels measured in other groups. Higher levels of BPA were associated with increased odds of having general symptoms of asthma, such as coughing or chest tightness; more days with asthma symptoms; and emergency department visits. The association between BPA exposure and asthma severity was only statistically significant for the boys in the study. Additionally, exposure to bisphenol A is associated with more asthma symptoms in low-income boys.

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“If these findings are confirmed in future studies, then avoiding or limiting contact with BPA sources may be advisable for families who have children with asthma,” Quirós-Alcalá said in a statement.

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