Exposure assessment of adult intake of bisphenol A (BPA) with emphasis on canned food dietary exposures

Environ Int. 2015 Apr;77:55-62. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.01.008. Epub 2015 Jan 30.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high-volume, synthetic compound found in epoxy resins and plastics used in food packaging. Food is believed to be a major source of BPA intake. In this study, we measured the concentration of BPA in convenience samplings of foodstuffs purchased in Dallas, Texas. Sampling entailed collection of 204 samples of fresh, frozen, and canned foods in two rounds in 2010. BPA was positive in 73% of the canned food samples, while it was found in only 7% of non-canned foods at low concentrations. The results of this food sampling program were used to calculate adult dietary intakes of BPA. A pathway approach combined food intakes, a "canned fraction" parameter which described what portion of total intake of that food came from canned products, and measured food concentrations. Dietary intakes were calculated as 12.6 ng/kg-day, of which 12.4 ng/kg-day was from canned foods. Canned vegetable intakes alone were 11.9 ng/kg-day. This dietary intake was compared to total intakes of BPA estimated from urine measurements of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Total adult central tendency intakes ranged from 30 to 70 ng/kg-day for NHANES cycles between 2005 and 2010. Three possibilities were explored to explain the difference between these two approaches for intake estimation. Not all foods which may have been canned, particularly canned beverages such as soft drinks, were sampled in our food sampling program. Second, non-food pathways of exposure may be important for adults, including thermal paper exposures, and dust and air exposures. Finally, our canned food concentrations may not be adequately representative of canned foods in the United States; they were found to be generally lower compared to canned food concentrations measured in six other worldwide food surveys including three in North America. Our finding that canned food concentrations greatly exceeded non-canned concentrations was consistent with other studies, and underscores the importance of canned foods in the overall exposure of adults of BPA.

Keywords: BPA; Bisphenol A; Dietary exposure; NHANES.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / analysis*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / urine
  • Diet
  • Diet Surveys
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Food Packaging / methods
  • Food, Preserved / analysis*
  • Frozen Foods / analysis
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Phenols / urine
  • Texas
  • Vegetables / chemistry


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A