Early exposure to Bisphenol A, a chemical found in plastics, may lead to the development of depression and anxiety in boys at the age of 10-12 years, said a new study.
Bisphenol A is a part of a type of chemicals called as endocrine disruptors which is commonly used in plastic containers, packaging materials and water bottles.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CsCCEH). They examined 214 non-smoking pregnant women by gathering urine samples at the third trimester of their pregnancy. They also collected urine samples of their children at the age of 3 and 5 years.
After a period of follow-up, researchers interviewed the children regarding their anxiety and depressive symptoms when they were about 10-12 years old.
After dividing their data by Bisphenol A exposure and gender, they identified that boys who had higher exposure to BPA before birth showed more symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
The higher the exposure to BPA was, the higher was the risk of developing anxiety and depression among the boys. The same effect was not diagnosed in girls.
“Anxiety and depression are particularly worrisome because they can interfere with a child’s ability to concentrate, perform in school, socialize and make friends,” said Amy Margolis, assistant professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.