(HealthDay News) — Exposure in pregnancy to bisphenol A (BPA) may increase a child’s risk of respiratory issues, researchers say. The findings, published online October 6 in JAMA Pediatrics, indicate that for every 10-fold increase in the average amount of BPA in the mothers’ urine, there is a nearly 55% increase in the odds of some type of wheezing in their children.

To test for BPA exposure, a research team collected urine samples from 398 women at 16 and 26 weeks of pregnancy, and yearly samples from their children at ages 4 and 5 years.

The researchers found that each 10-fold increase of BPA in a mother’s urine was associated with a 14% decrease in the child’s percentage predicted forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration (FEV1) at 4 years of age. In addition, a 10-fold increase in BPA at 16 weeks’ gestation was associated with more than four times the likelihood of persistent wheezing at age 4.

“Maternal exposures to BPA during pregnancy may affect a child’s future lung health,” lead researcher Adam Spanier, MD, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, told HealthDay. The findings were inconsistent, however. While 4-year-olds had reduced percentage predicted FEV1 associated with increased BPA exposure, that link wasn’t seen in 5-year-olds. Moreover, BPA concentrations in children’s urine were not tied to reduced percentage predicted FEV1 or wheezing, Spanier said. The link was only with maternal exposure, he said.

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