Special Needs Now

New Study Connects BPA and Autism

BPA bottles
BPA is bad for kids. It's no secret, and a new study from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) even suggests a possible link between BPA ingestion and autism symptoms.

The science behind the findings is complex, but it can be summarized simply: researchers tested the urine of 46 children with ASD and 52 "healthy control children" and determined that the kids with autism seemed to have more trouble removing toxins from their bodies. Although the study only examined a small number of subjects, the study's lead author, T. Peter Stein, told Science Daily: "The metabolism of BPA is different in some children with autism than it is in otherwise healthy children."

To me, it seems a bit overblown to declare that "BPA is involved in autism" as Stein does, but I agree that further research is needed, and that keeping BPA away from kids with autism is a good idea.

Frankly, I think it's a good idea for anyone—kids, pregnant women, and adults of any age— no matter how well they can process toxins. Luckily, retailers seem to agree (and listening to consumer demands), as everything from sippy cups and waterbottles to kids' plates, bottles, and pacifiers are now BPA-free, although we still have a ways to go before BPA is gone for good.

Jamie Pacton lives near Lake Michigan where she drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons, Liam (6) and Eliot (4). Her writing has appeared in the Autism and Asperger's Digest (2011-2013), Parents, and the book collection Monday Coffee and Other Stories of Parenting Kids with Special Needs. Find her at www.jamiepacton.com, Facebook (Jamie Pacton), and Twitter (@jamiepacton).

Image: Anti-BPA sign with plastic bottles of mineral water via Shutterstock