Estrogenicity of resin-based composites and sealants used in dentistry

Environ Health Perspect. 1996 Mar;104(3):298-305. doi: 10.1289/ehp.96104298.


We tested some resin-based composites used in dentistry for their estrogenic activity. A sealant based on bisphenol-A diglycidylether methacrylate (bis-GMA) increased cell yields, progesterone receptor expression, and pS2 secretion in human estrogen-target, serum-sensitive MCF7 breast cancer cells. Estrogenicity was due to bisphenol-A and bisphenol-A dimethacrylate, monomers found in the base paste of the dental sealant and identified by mass spectrometry. Samples of saliva from 18 subjects treated with 50 mg of a bis-GMA-based sealant applied on their molars were collected 1 hr before and after treatment. Bisphenol-A (range 90-931 micrograms) was identified only in saliva collected during a 1-hr period after treatment. The use of bis-GMA-based resins in dentistry, and particularly the use of sealants in children, appears to contribute to human exposure to xenoestrogens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Bisphenol A-Glycidyl Methacrylate / metabolism
  • Bisphenol A-Glycidyl Methacrylate / pharmacology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Division
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / agonists*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / biosynthesis
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / metabolism


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Phenols
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Bisphenol A-Glycidyl Methacrylate
  • bisphenol A