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A new study, by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch, suggests exposure to bisphenol-A, or BPA, during pregnancy, raises the risk of asthma in the child.

The researchers found the offspring of female mice exposed to BPA showed significant signs of the disorder, unlike the group of mice shielded from the chemical.

"All four of our indicators of asthma response showed up in the BPA group, much more so than in group of non-exposed mice," said researchers.

BPA is a compound that hardens plastic and is used in thousands of everyday consumer items including DVD cases, shower curtains and baby bottles.

Several studies, conducted over the last decade, have linked BPA to diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, neurological problems and other health disorders. Newer research suggests the chemical can have an effect even at very low doses – lower than those currently set by the FDA.

The National Institutes of Health determined that BPA presents concern for harmful effects on the development of the brain, prostate and behavioral changes in fetuses, infants and children. The FDA is involved in several ongoing studies.

The study findings will be published in the February edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.

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