Bisphenol A and Phthalates linked to atypical childhood social behaviourism

Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, also referred to as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), are chemicals widely present in variety of consumer products. Interestingly, these two chemicals have link to atypical childhood social behaviourism.
A study recently finds that children with higher foetal exposure to both phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) have impaired social functioning. The social behaviour, including difficult interpersonal and social awareness skills, reported by the mothers are similar to those associated with ADHD and autism.
The EDCs are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s hormones. These hormones are important to brain development and changes in their levels during pregnancy might result in brain changes that could lead to altered childhood behaviour. Some researchers believe that hormonal changes during pregnancy may increase the risk of autism or ADHD.
Of the two EDCs, BPA is used in polycarbonate plastics, thermal receipts and food can linings whereas Phthalates are found in food packaging, cosmetics, personal care products and vinyl plastics.
It has been shown that children with autism and ADHD often show impaired social cognition. Children with these disorders have atypical social communication, mannerisms and responsiveness; they often need special education and health services throughout their lives. Social responsiveness refers to a child’s ability to process and respond to interactions with other people.

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6 thoughts on “Bisphenol A and Phthalates linked to atypical childhood social behaviourism

  1. It’s very obvious that most economic developments come with a price tag…..this is one good example worth noting.

  2. An interesting post. The use of these EDCs in polycarbonate plastics and food packaging was conceived in good faith in an attempt to ensure our safety but it appears now that this is causing a ‘risk trade-off’. What is the best way out?

    1. I guess the advice here is that before any significant intervention is employed in averting a health problem, there’s a need for scrutiny for any possible non-target effect so that the associated health gains and losses can be set up before a decision on whether to go ahead is made.

  3. Unwanted ‘side-effects’ of this nature often pushes health policy makers into a state of dilemma. It is right to say that this a good example of creating new risks in trying to deal with old risks. Well done Jalal Saleh for reminding us that more needs to be done when conceiving policies of this nature. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Gupta; it is obvious that policy makers are always in a situation which involves trade-offs and this is a clear example of one. It could be said that sometimes they are simple and obvious as is the case of investing finite resources for health gains but often there are associated adverse effects.

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