ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
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Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
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Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
ANIMAL CARE
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Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
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Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
EYE CARE, VISION
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Run for Your Life
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
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Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
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Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
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Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
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Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
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INFECTIOUS DISEASE
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Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
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MEN'S HEALTH
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MENTAL HEALTH
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Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
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PAIN
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Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
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Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
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Add your Article

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