Bisphenol A and other phenols in urine from Danish children and adolescents analyzed by isotope diluted TurboFlow-LC-MS/MS

Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2013 Nov;216(6):710-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.01.007. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan (TCS), benzophenone-3 (BP-3), dichoro- and phenyl phenols are industrial chemicals present in numerous consumer products such as polycarbonate plastics, preservatives in personal care products, sun screens, pesticides and fungicides, respectively, and they are all suspected endocrine disrupters. In this study the urinary excretion of eight phenols in Danish children recruited from the general population were investigated. One 24h urine and two consecutive first morning samples were collected from each of 129 healthy Danish children and adolescents (6-21 years). The concentrations of urinary phenols were analyzed by a new on-line TurboFlow-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Most of the analyzed phenols were detectable in more than 80% of the 24h urine samples and the median concentration of BPA, TCS, BP-3, 2,4-dichorophenol and 2,5-dichorophenol (analyzed as ∑DCP), 2-phenylphenol and 4-phenylphenol were 1.37, 1.45, 1.41, 0.65, 0.36 and 0.53ng/mL, respectively. The ranges of the excreted TCS and BP-3 were wide; from below limit of detection to maximum levels of 955ng/mL and 162ng/mL, respectively, while the other phenols were excreted in a more narrow range with maximum levels below 25ng/mL. Concentrations in first morning urine were in general higher than in 24h urine and comprised 30-47% of the absolute amount excreted during 24h. The youngest children aged 6-10 years had a significantly higher urinary BPA concentration (ng/mL) and also a relatively higher daily BPA excretion (ng/kg bw/24h) than the older children and adolescents. The opposite pattern was observed for TCS, BP-3 and ∑DCP for which urinary levels increased significantly with age. No gender difference or associations to pubertal development were observed. In conclusion, our study showed that Danish children were exposed to multiple phenols simultaneously. Small children were relatively more exposed to BPA than older children, while higher exposures to TCS, BP-3 and ∑DCP were seen among adolescents.

Keywords: 2,4,5-TCP; 2,4,5-trichlorophenol; 2,4-DCP; 2,4-dichlorophenol; 2,5-DCP; 2,5-dichlorophenol; 2-PP; 2-phenylphenol; 4-PP; 4-phenylphenol; BP-3; BPA; Benzophenone-3; Bisphenol A; Endocrine disruptor; Puberty; TCCB; TCS; Triclosan; Urinary excretion; benzophenone-3; bisphenol A; triclocarban; triclosan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / urine*
  • Benzophenones / urine*
  • Child
  • Chlorophenols / urine
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenols / urine*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Triclosan / urine*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Benzophenones
  • Chlorophenols
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phenols
  • 2,5-dichlorophenol
  • Triclosan
  • oxybenzone
  • bisphenol A
  • 2,4-dichlorophenol