Bisphenol A exposure and children's behavior: A systematic review

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2017 Mar;27(2):175-183. doi: 10.1038/jes.2016.8. Epub 2016 Mar 9.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical used to synthesize polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Previous research suggests that exposure to it can alter children's behavior. The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review of the existing literature, examining associations between prenatal and childhood BPA exposure and behavior in children up to 12 years of age. We searched electronic bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and ERIC), reference lists of included articles, and conference abstracts (American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Neurology, Pediatric Academic Societies, and International Society of Environmental Epidemiology). We included original studies reporting on the association between prenatal and childhood BPA exposure that measured BPA metabolites in urine and children's behavioral outcomes. From 2811 citations, 11 articles met our inclusion criteria. Descriptive analyses indicated that prenatal exposure to maternal BPA concentrations were related to higher levels of anxiety, depression, aggression, and hyperactivity in children. BPA exposure in childhood was associated with higher levels of anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inattention, and conduct problems. Limited observational evidence suggests an association between both prenatal and childhood exposure to BPA and adverse behavioral outcomes in children. Prospective cohort studies are needed to clarify these associations.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / drug effects
  • Anxiety / chemically induced
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / urine
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / drug effects*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Phenols / adverse effects*
  • Phenols / urine
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / chemically induced*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Biomarkers
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A