Bisphenol A and human health: a review of the literature

Reprod Toxicol. 2013 Dec:42:132-55. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2013.08.008. Epub 2013 Aug 30.


There is growing evidence that bisphenol A (BPA) may adversely affect humans. BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has been shown to be harmful in laboratory animal studies. Until recently, there were relatively few epidemiological studies examining the relationship between BPA and health effects in humans. However, in the last year, the number of these studies has more than doubled. A comprehensive literature search found 91 studies linking BPA to human health; 53 published within the last year. This review outlines this body of literature, showing associations between BPA exposure and adverse perinatal, childhood, and adult health outcomes, including reproductive and developmental effects, metabolic disease, and other health effects. These studies encompass both prenatal and postnatal exposures, and include several study designs and population types. While it is difficult to make causal links with epidemiological studies, the growing human literature correlating environmental BPA exposure to adverse effects in humans, along with laboratory studies in many species including primates, provides increasing support that environmental BPA exposure can be harmful to humans, especially in regards to behavioral and other effects in children.

Keywords: 17-beta estradiol; 8-OHdG; 8-hydoxydeoxyguanosine; A European population representative sample (Chianti, Italy); AGD; ANA; BADGE; BASC-2; BMI; BPA; BRIEF-P; Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool; Behavioral Assessment System for Children; Bisphenol A; C-reactive protein; CAD; CBCL; CHAMACOS; CHD; CMV; CRP; CVD; Child Behavior Checklist; DBP; DHEAS; Development; E2; ECN; EFS; EH; EPIC-Norfolk Study; ER; Endocrine-disrupting chemicals; Epidemiology; FAI; FDA; FSH; FT; Food and Drug Administration; HDL; HOMES; HRV; HbA1c; Human; IL-6; ISCI; IVF; InCHIANTI; LDL; LH; MDA; MGH; MaGiCAD; Massachusetts General Hospital (United States); Metabolic disease; NECAT; NHANES; NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale; NNNS; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (United States); OHAT; Office of Health Assessment and Translation; PCOS; PFOA; PFOS; PIVUS; Reproduction; SBP; SCE; SFF; SHBG; SRS; Social Responsiveness Scale; T; T3; T4; TDI; TSH; The Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas, Salina, CA; The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Cohort Study, consisting of over 500,000 people (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom); The Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment Study (United States); The Metabolomics and Genomics in Coronary Artery Disease Study (Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom); The New England Children's Amalgam Trial (United States); The Study for Future Families, USA; The Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors Study (Uppsala, Sweden); Thyroid; UCSF; USEPA; United Sates Environmental Protection Agency; University of California, San Francisco; VCL; anogenital distance; antinuclear antibodies; bisGMA; bisphenol A; bisphenol A diglycidyl ether; bisphenol A-glycidyl methacrylate; body mass index; cardiovascular disease; coronary artery disease; coronary heart disease; curvilinear velocity (μm/s); cytomegalovirus; dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; diastolic blood pressure; embryo cell number; embryo fragmentation score; endometrial hyperplasia; estrogen receptor; follicle-stimulating hormone; free androgen index (total T divided by SHBG); free testosterone; hCG; heart rate variability; hemoglobin A1c; high-density lipoprotein; human chorionic gonadotropin; in vitro fertilization; interleukin-6; intracytoplasmic sperm injection; low-density lipoprotein; luteinizing hormone; malondialdehyde; perfluorooctane sulfonate; perfluorooctanoic acid; polycystic ovary syndrome; reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction; rtPCR; sex hormone binding globulin; sister chromatid exchange; systolic blood pressure; thyroid stimulating hormone; thyroxine; tolerable daily intake; total testosterone; triidothyronine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / chemically induced
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Reproduction / drug effects


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A