Fate of Bisphenol A in Terrestrial and Aquatic Environments

Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Aug 16;50(16):8403-16. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00877. Epub 2016 Aug 1.


Bisphenol A (2,2-bis[4-hydroxyphenyl]propane, BPA), the monomer used to produce polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, is weakly estrogenic and therefore of environmental and human health interest. Due to the high production volumes and disposal of products made from BPA, polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, BPA has entered terrestrial and aquatic environments. In the presence of oxygen, diverse taxa of bacteria, fungi, algae and even higher plants metabolize BPA, but anaerobic microbial degradation has not been documented. Recent reports demonstrated that abiotic processes mediate BPA transformation and mineralization in the absence of oxygen, indicating that BPA is susceptible to degradation under anoxic conditions. This review summarizes biological and nonbiological processes that lead to BPA transformation and degradation, and identifies research needs to advance predictive understanding of the longevity of BPA and its transformation products in environmental systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Phenols / metabolism*
  • Soil Pollutants / metabolism*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • bisphenol A