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BPA, a chemical in plastics, associated with ASD

Date Published: 
March 9, 2015

A new study has found a link between autism and BPA, a chemical used to make plastics. In a small study published in Autism Research, children with autism appeared to have trouble metabolizing and eliminating BPA compared to children who don't have autism.1

The researchers measured this by taking urine samples from 98 children, 46 of whom have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The children with ASD were not breaking down, or metabolizing, the BPA in a way that helps it move quickly through the body and be eliminated.

BPA (Bisphenol A) in food packaging and containers can get into food and beverages. BPA has been found in drinking water, plastic bottles, the lining of metal food cans, and household items.

The study does not prove that BPA is causing autism. The scientists suggest that larger studies should be done on BPA. Future studies could include testing the levels of medications in children to see if they might be interfering with the metabolism of BPA.1 Also, a future study could try to ensure that the children in the autism and control groups had similar home and socioeconomic environments.1

The study concludes that it might benefit pregnant women and children with ASD to reduce their exposure to BPA. Some food containers now advertise that they are BPA-free.