Bisphenol A (BPA) is a non-persistent chemical with endocrine disrupting abilities widely used in a variety of consumer products. The fetal brain is particularly sensitive to chemical exposures due to its rapid growth and complexity. Some studies have reported associationbetween maternal BPA exposure and behavior but few have assessed impact on cognitive development, and to our knowledge no studies have specifically assessed the impact on language development. We therefore assessed whether maternal urinary BPA concentration during pregnancy was associated with language development and attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in offspring aged 18-36 months in the prospective Odense Child Cohort. BPA was analyzed in 3rd trimester maternal fasting urine spot samples. Language development was addressed among 535 children using the Danish adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories at median age 21 months; ADHD traits were assessed by parents of 658 children using the Child Behavior Checklist for ages 1½-5 years at mean age 2.7 years. Associations were assessed using logistic regression models comparing children below the 15th percentile score for language and above the 85 percentiles score for ADHD with the other children while stratifying by sex and adjusting for maternal education, duration of breastfeeding and maternal urine phthalates. BPA was detected in 85.3% of the urine samples (median 1.2 ng/ml). Boys of mothers with BPA exposure in the highest tertile had an odds ratio of 3.70 (95% CI 1.34-10.21) of being in the lowest 15th percentile of vocabulary score compared to boys of mothers within the lowest tertile of BPA exposure after adjustment, whereas no association was found in girls. No clear dose-response relationship between maternal BPA and ADHD scores above the 85th percentile was found for either sex. Since early language development is a predictor of future reading skills and educational success, more epidemiological studies assessing BPA exposure and language skills are needed to confirm our findings.
Keywords: ADHD; Bisphenol A; Endocrine disruptors; Language; Neurodevelopment.
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