Moms Get Plastic, Kids Get Asthma?

Photo by Jason Pratt, Wikimedia Commons

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


More bad news on the health effects of bisphenol A (BPA), that organic compound used as a building block in many plastics—including in plastic water bottles, food packaging, sunglasses, and CDs.

New experiments on mice at the University of Texas Galveston find evidence that a mother’s exposure to BPA may also increase the odds that her children will develop asthma.

Mice were given BPA in drinking water starting a week before pregnancy at levels calculated to produce a concentration the same as in a human mother. The dosing continued through pregnancy and lactation. Indicators of asthma showed up strongly in the BPA-exposed group, much more so than in the pups of the nonexposed mice.

We know that prior studies have linked BPA exposure to reproductive disorders, obesity, and abnormal brain developmen, as well as breast and prostate cancers. In January the Food and Drug Administration announced its concern about “the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and young children.”

Lead author of the paper in Environmental Health Perspectives, Terumi Midoro-Horiuti, tells U Texas:

“We also need to look at doing more epidemiological studies directly in humans, which is possible because BPA is so prevalent in the environment—all of us are already loaded with it to a varying extent. For example, it should be possible to determine if children who have more BPA exposure are more likely to develop asthma.”
 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest