Bisphenol a: how the most relevant exposure sources contribute to total consumer exposure

Risk Anal. 2010 Mar;30(3):473-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01345.x. Epub 2010 Jan 29.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical that is found in human urine throughout industrial societies around the globe. Consumer exposure pathways to BPA include packaged food, household dust, air, and dental fillings. To date, information on the relative contribution of the different pathways to total consumer exposure is lacking, but is key for managing substance-associated risks. We investigated the relative contributions of the pathways known to be most relevant for nine different consumer groups. Our results suggest that the most important pathways for infants and children are the use of polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles and for adults and teenagers the consumption of canned food. Dental surgery can also considerably contribute over a short time directly after the surgery. For infants fed with PC baby bottles with mean dose rates of 0.8 microg/kg(bw)/d the highest exposure dose rate was calculated. This dose rate is far below the tolerable daily intake of 50 microg/kg(bw)/d. However, it is of the same order of magnitude as recently reported concentrations that caused low-dose health effects in rodents. We find a pattern of falling exposure levels with rising age that is supported by urinary concentrations of BPA available for selected consumer groups. Similarly, the exposure levels we predict are confirmed by the levels reported in these studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Dust / analysis
  • Endocrine Disruptors / analysis*
  • Food Packaging*
  • Food, Preserved / analysis*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Phenols
  • Polycarboxylate Cement
  • Polymers / chemistry


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Dust
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Phenols
  • Polycarboxylate Cement
  • Polymers
  • polycarbonate
  • bisphenol A