New research suggests that there may be a link between increasing asthma rates and a particular threshold of bisphenol A (BPA), according to a study being presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

In the study, maternal exposure to 10 micro g/ml of BPA in mice enhanced the allergic sensitization and bronchial inflammation and responsiveness in their pups. This dosage mimics the human BPA burden of chronic exposure, including that of pregnant women.

"Previous studies indicated that maternal exposure in mice to environmental BPA enhanced the susceptibility of their pups to allergic asthma," said study co-author Terumi Midoro-Horiuti, MD, PhD. "The goal of this study was to determine the actual threshold of the effects of BPA on allergic sensitization, airway inflammation and hyper-responsiveness."

Female mice received 0, 0.1, 1 and 10 micro g/ml of BPA in their drinking water from one week before pregnancy, during pregnancy and while nursing their pups, in the study conducted at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

BPA is a chemical commonly found in polycarbonate plastic bottles and the aluminum lining of food and beverage cans. BPA production started about 40 years ago. This coincides with the prevalence of increasing asthma rates.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology