An evaluation of the possible carcinogenicity of bisphenol A to humans

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2002 Apr;35(2 Pt 1):238-54. doi: 10.1006/rtph.2001.1525.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a monomer component of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. These resins are used in numerous consumer products, including food-contact plastics. There has been considerable scientific debate about the relevance to humans of reported estrogenic actions of BPA. Much less attention has been focused on the carcinogenic potential of BPA. The carcinogenic potential of BPA was assessed through a review of metabolic data, genetic toxicity studies, long-term toxicity/carcinogenicity studies, and estimates of consumer exposure. Following a weight-of-evidence approach as recommended by IARC and U.S. EPA, it was concluded that BPA is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. The bases for this conclusion included: (a) the results of an NTP study which provided no substantive evidence to indicate that BPA is carcinogenic to rodents; (b) the lack of activity of BPA, at noncytotoxic concentrations, in standard in vitro genetic toxicity tests; (c) the lack of genotoxic activity of BPA in a GLP-compliant in vivo mouse micronucleus assay; and (d) the results of metabolism studies showing BPA is rapidly glucuronidated without evidence of formation of potentially reactive intermediates, except possibly at high doses that could saturate detoxication pathways. In addition, exposure assessment reveals that current use of BPA would result in only a trivial human exposure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Carcinogenicity Tests
  • Carcinogens / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Mice
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens / adverse effects
  • Phenols / adverse effects*
  • Phenols / pharmacokinetics
  • Rats
  • Risk Assessment


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A