Endocrine disruptors and the future of toxicology testing - lessons from CLARITY-BPA

Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019 Jun;15(6):366-374. doi: 10.1038/s41574-019-0173-y.


Five years ago, an ambitious collaboration, the Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on Toxicity of BPA (CLARITY-BPA; henceforth CLARITY), was launched by three US agencies. The goal was to provide a definitive evaluation of bisphenol A (BPA) and explain disparities between traditional regulatory studies and findings from independent investigators. BPA or vehicle-treated rats from an FDA facility were used in a guideline study and animals and/or tissues were provided to academic researchers for analysis. An interim summary released in February 2018 by the FDA concluded that currently authorized uses of BPA continue to be safe. We disagree. In this Perspectives, we summarize the goals, design and problems of CLARITY. We conclude that, despite its flaws, CLARITY provides important insight and, taken together, the data provide compelling evidence that low-dose BPA exposure induces marked adverse effects. Indeed, the greatest number of effects were observed at doses 20,000 times lower than the current 'safe' dose of BPA for humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / toxicity
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / trends
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / toxicity
  • Toxicity Tests / methods*
  • Toxicity Tests / trends
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States Food and Drug Administration / trends


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A