Temporal variability and predictors of urinary bisphenol A concentrations in men and women

Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Feb;116(2):173-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10605.


Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to manufacture polymeric materials, such as polycarbonate plastics, and is found in a variety of consumer products. Recent data show widespread BPA exposure among the U.S. population.

Objective: Our goal in the present study was to determine the temporal variability and predictors of BPA exposure.

Methods: We measured urinary concentrations of BPA among male and female patients from the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center.

Results: Between 2004 and 2006, 217 urine samples were collected from 82 subjects: 45 women (145 samples) and 37 men (72 samples). Of these, 24 women and men were partners and contributed 42 pairs of samples collected on the same day. Ten women became pregnant during the follow-up period. Among the 217 urine samples, the median BPA concentration was 1.20 microg/L, ranging from below the limit of detection (0.4 microg/L) to 42.6 microg/L. Age, body mass index, and sex were not significant predictors of urinary BPA concentrations. BPA urinary concentrations among pregnant women were 26% higher (-26%, +115%) than those among the same women when not pregnant (p > 0.05). The urinary BPA concentrations of the female and male partner on the same day were correlated (r = 0.36; p = 0.02). The sensitivity of classifying a subject in the highest tertile using a single urine sample was 0.64.

Conclusion: We found a nonsignificant increase in urinary BPA concentrations in women while pregnant compared with nonpregnant samples from the same women. Samples collected from partners on the same day were correlated, suggesting shared sources of exposure. Finally, a single urine sample showed moderate sensitivity for predicting a subject's tertile categorization.

Keywords: bisphenol A; endocrine disruptors; environment; human; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenols / urine*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A