Recent advances in simultaneous analysis of bisphenol A and its conjugates in human matrices: Exposure biomarker perspectives

Sci Total Environ. 2016 Dec 1;572:770-781. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.062. Epub 2016 Aug 30.


Human exposures to bisphenol A (BPA) has attained considerable global health attention and represents one of the leading environmental contaminants with potential adverse health effects including endocrine disruption. Current practice of measuring of exposure to BPA includes the measurement of unconjugated BPA (aglycone) and total (both conjugated and unconjugated) BPA; the difference between the two measurements leads to estimation of conjugated forms. However, the measurement of BPA as the end analyte leads to inaccurate estimates from potential interferences from background sources during sample collection and analysis. BPA glucuronides (BPAG) and sulfates (BPAS) represent better candidates for biomarkers of BPA exposure, since they require in vivo metabolism and are not prone to external contamination. In this work, the primary focus was to review the current state of the art in analytical methods available to quantitate BPA conjugates. The entire analytical procedure for the simultaneous extraction and detection of aglycone BPA and conjugates is covered, from sample pre-treatment, extraction, separation, ionization, and detection. Solid phase extraction coupled with liquid chromatograph and tandem mass spectrometer analysis provides the most sensitive detection and quantification of BPA conjugates. Discussed herein are the applications of BPA conjugates analysis in human exposure assessment studies. Measuring these potential biomarkers of BPA exposure has only recently become analytically feasible and there are limitations and challenges to overcome in biomonitoring studies.

Keywords: Biomarkers of exposure; Bisphenol conjugates; Chromatography; Human biomonitoring; Mass spectrometry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds / analysis*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / chemistry
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Endocrine Disruptors / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Glucuronides / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / toxicity
  • Solid Phase Extraction / methods
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Biomarkers
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Glucuronides
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A glucuronide
  • bisphenol A