Widespread Occurrence of Bisphenol A in Daily Clothes and Its High Exposure Risk in Humans

Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Jun 18;53(12):7095-7102. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b02090. Epub 2019 May 31.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is an important endocrine disrupting chemical. Although high levels of BPA in some new clothes have been reported, the occurrence of bisphenol chemicals including BPA in daily clothes is still unknown, and the human exposure to BPA in clothes has not been well assessed. In this study, used/washed clothes were collected from residents' wardrobes and the concentrations of BPA and its analogues were detected. BPA was present in all the used clothes at concentrations ranging from <3.30 to 471 ng/g (median: 34.2 ng/g; mean ± SD: 57.5 ± 93.6 ng/g), while bisphenol S was also detected in 29% of the samples. Although higher average concentration (88.4 ± 289 ng/g) and maximum concentration (1823 ng/g) of BPA were found in the new clothes, the median concentration of BPA in the used clothes (34.2 ng/g) was even higher than that in the new clothes (17.7 ng/g). Cross contamination of BPA during laundering was identified by a simulated laundry experiment, which explained the homogenizing tendency of bisphenol contaminants in the used clothes. An estimated dermal exposure dose of 52.1 ng/kg BW/d was obtained for BPA exposure in children from the highly polluted sweaty clothes (with BPA concentration of 199 ng/g). This indicates a relatively high exposure risk in humans. Compared to other exposure routes, the contribution of dermal exposure dose of BPA from the daily clothes should not be neglected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Laundering*
  • Phenols


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • bisphenol A