Smart Woman: Bisphenol A and How You Can Avoid It

    Researchers have been taking a closer look at the chemical Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, to investigate links to possible health problems. Now they've discovered it may increase the chances of childhood asthma.

    Many mothers worry about how chemicals in cans and plastics could affect their children. Some mothers take steps to avoid one in particular -- Bisphenol A.

    Though banned from baby bottles and sippy cups, BPA is found in some plastic food containers and in the lining of many canned foods. The chemical can seep into food and has been linked to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and obesity. Now researchers say exposure to BPA may also increase a child's risk of asthma.

    "Exposure to BPA in early childhood in ages 3, 5 and 7 were associated with increased odds of wheeze and asthma at school age between 5 and 12," says Dr. Kathleen Donohue at Columbia University.

    Researchers measure the BPA levels of more than 500 pregnant women and then followed their kids. By age 12 a third of them had asthma.

    There are ways to reduce exposure to BPA. Experts say choose fresh vegetables and fruits when possible and use glass containers, especially in the microwave. Dr. Donohue also says to avoid plastic containers with the recycling numbers 3 or 7. Some other steps you can take are to buy fresh and cook from scratch whenever you can.

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