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Chemical in plastic food containers could damage children’s teeth irreversibly

Tue

 

A new study has revealed that a common chemical used to create plastic food containers can do permanent damage to the enamel on children’s teeth, stopping it from developing properly and weakening the teeth. Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in items like refillable drinks bottler and experts warn that this chemical should be avoided until the child is at least five years old.

Leader of the study, Dr Katia Jedeon, said that enamel development does not stop until the age of five, which leaves the teeth vulnerable to damage from chemicals. The study, which is to be presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology, involved giving rats a daily dose of the chemical from birth to thirty days old, then cells were taken from the surface of the rats teeth. The results showed that the genes that controlled the mineralisation of the tooth enamel were affected by exposure to BPA and another chemical called vinclozolin.

In the EU and the US, BPA has been banned from use in babies’ bottles, due to the fact that the bottles are heated and this can release the chemical. However, the Food Standards Agency and the European Food Safety Organisation do not view the chemical as a safety concern. Regarding vinclozolin, the World Health Organisation said that it was ‘unlikely’ to be extremely hazardous ‘in normal use’.

 

Are dental fillings causing your child to misbehave?

Tue

These days, it’s quite common to hear every excuse under the sun for a badly behaved child, but scientists in America have discovered that it might be something more than just poor parenting making kids naughty; chemicals in dental fillings could be causing them to act out.

A study carried out by researchers at New England Research revealed that the chemicals used in certain filler materials could cause behavioural problems; the tests involved examining the behaviour of 534 children who had at least two fillings. The results showed that kids who had several fillings made with the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, had a tendency to lash out more aggressively than those who had fewer restorations. The study also suggested that children aged between six and ten who had amalgam fillings did not suffer the same problems.

Author of the research, Nancy Maserejian, spoke to online news resource Health Day about the results, saying that it came as a surprise that composite plastic fillings seemed to be causing more behavioural issues than amalgam – which tends to be negatively singled out because of its mercury content. She went on to add ‘On average, the difference in social behaviour scores were very small and would probably not be noticed for each individual child. But imagine a huge group of children around the country; you’d probably notice a difference.’ Although the current trends seem to be inconclusive, previous research into BPA has suggested that prolonged exposure can lead to hyperactivity and aggression in young people.

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