Dermal exposure to bisphenols in pregnant women's and baby clothes: Risk characterization

Sci Total Environ. 2023 Jun 20:878:163122. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.163122. Epub 2023 Mar 29.


Textile manufacturing consists of a multiple-step process in which a wide range of chemicals is used, some of them remaining in the final product. Bisphenols (BPs) are non-intentionally added compounds in textiles, whose prolonged skin contact may mean a significant source of daily human exposure, especially in vulnerable groups of the population. The present study aimed to determine the levels of bisphenol A (BPA) and some BP analogs (BPB, BPF, and BPS) in 120 new clothes commercialized in Spain for pregnant women, newborns, and toddlers. In addition, exposure assessment and risk characterization were also carried out. Traces of BPA were found in all the samples, with a median concentration of 7.43 ng/g. The highest values were detected in textile samples made of polyester. Regarding natural fibers, higher concentrations of BPs were observed in garments made of conventional cotton than in those made of organic cotton, with a significant difference for BPS (1.24 vs. 0.76 ng/g, p < 0.05). Although toddlers have a larger skin-area-to-body-weight ratio, pregnant women showed higher exposure to BPs than children. Anyhow, the non-carcinogenic risks associated with BPA exposure were below the unity, even under the upper-bound scenario. However, risks could be underestimated because other exposure routes were not considered in this study. The use of BPA has been restricted in some food-related products; therefore, BPA should also be regulated in the textile industry.

Keywords: BPA; Bisphenols; Clothes; Dermal exposure; Health risk assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Phenols
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women*
  • Textiles


  • bisphenol A
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols