ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
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Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
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Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
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Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
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Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
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Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
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Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Eating your way to Good Health
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Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
FITNESS
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
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INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
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Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls

(HealthDay News) -- In the latest study to suggest an association between the plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and adverse effects on humans, researchers report that BPA may affect the behavior of little girls.

Girls exposed to higher levels of BPA displayed more "externalizing" behaviors, such as aggression and hyperactivity, according to the study, which is published in the Oct. 6 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.

"We found almost all of the women [in the study] had detectable levels of bisphenol A in at least one of the tests, and elevated concentrations were associated with externalizing behaviors in female children," said study author Joe Braun, a graduate student and research assistant in epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Not everyone agreed with the study's conclusions, however.

"This type of study has no capability to establish cause and effect, only associations. At the end of the study, the authors even point out that the results 'should be viewed cautiously,'" noted Steven Hentges, executive director of the polycarbonate/BPA global group at the American Chemistry Council, which represents the chemicals industry.

BPA is a commonly used chemical that's found in hard plastics and epoxy resins. The chemical is used in water bottles, food containers, infant bottles and medical devices. BPA may also be found in the lining of canned foods. Most human exposure comes through diet when the chemical leaches into food and beverages from the containers, according to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Previous studies suggest that more than 90 percent of people in the United States have detectable levels of BPA in their urine.

Animal studies of the chemical have found an association between BPA and adverse neurodevelopmental effects on fetuses and newborns, according to background information in the study.

The current study included 249 pregnant women from Cincinnati, Ohio, who were part of another study that was evaluating interventions to reduce lead levels. Urine samples were collected when the mothers were 16 and 26 weeks pregnant, as well as within 24 hours of birth.

Ninety-nine percent of the women had at least one urine sample with detectable levels of BPA, according to the study.

The children's behavior was reported by the parents using a standardized questionnaire when the children were 2 years old.

After controlling the data to account for numerous possible confounding factors, such as maternal age, race, education and income levels, the researchers didn't find an association between BPA and externalizing behaviors. However, when they split the data by sex, they noted an association between higher BPA levels and more externalizing behaviors in girls.

Braun said that the researchers don't know why there was a difference in the findings by sex, nor did they know what the potential biological mechanism might be that could cause an increase in aggressive behaviors after BPA exposure.

The researchers did not adjust the data in this study to account for lead exposure, diet or after-birth exposure to BPA. Braun said that the researchers did test additional statistical models to account for lead exposure that weren't included in the paper, and he said that when this was done lead levels didn't change their findings.

However, "once you consider the limitations of the study, as the authors carefully do, there's significant potential for false positives," contended Hentges.

Braun said that parents who are worried about the potential for harm can look for products that specify that they're "BPA-free." He said the chemical is found in many different consumer products and there are no requirements that it be listed on a label, so if a product doesn't clearly state that it doesn't contain BPA, it may be made with the chemical. One known source of BPA is plastics with the number 7 in the recycling symbol.

SOURCES: Joe Braun, M.S.P.H., graduate student, research assistant, department of epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Steven Hentges, executive director, polycarbonate/BPA global group, American Chemistry Council, Arlington, Va.; Oct. 6, 2009, Environmental Health Perspectives, online Published on: October 06, 2009