Consumer BPA Exposure Much Higher than Originally Thought

Thousands of scientific studies have linked the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) common in U.S. food packaging and consumer products to a host of very serious health problems for both children and adults.  Despite the scientific evidence of the link between BPA and serious health concerns*, U.S. regulators such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have maintained that the BPA levels consumers are exposed to is “safe” and that the chemical therefore does not need to be banned or further regulated in the U.S. as it is in some other industrialized nations.

But now the position that current BPA exposure levels for U.S. consumers is “safe” has been empirically challenged.  Using new direct testing methods, scientific experts on the chemical BPA have made a new discovery: Previous estimates of the levels of BPA consumers are exposed to each day have been based on flawed, inaccurate testing methods. The previous measurements and estimates that have been used by regulatory agencies–including the FDA**–have underestimated exposure levels by as much as 44 times. With new, more advanced methods*** scientists are now able to see that previous estimates of exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical are far greater than regulators and legislators believed when establishing guidelines for what is “safe” exposure levels for U.S. children and adults.

CFL Graphic-BPA Obesity Diabetes

*A small sample of scientific research linking BPA to serious health problems:

BPA Exposure in Pregnancy Linked to Lung Problems in Children

Eating Out Linked with Higher Levels of Toxic Chemicals in Your Blood

CFL Graphic-BPA Spikes blood pressure

Lower IQ Linked with Consumer Product Chemical Exposure during Pregnancy

Child-Teen Obesity Linked to Food Container Chemicals: Study

Exposure in Pregnancy to BPA Linked to Ovarian Problems for Offspring

BPA-Replacement Plastics for Food-Drink Likely Unsafe, say researchers

IBD and BPA: A Risky Combination

Hospital exposure to BPA may put babies at risk for serious heart conditions

New research examines BPA’s effect on the brain

BPA Brain Bending endocrine disruptor

BPA Exposure in Pregnancy may Adversely Affect Unborn Babies, say Scientists

CFL Graphic-BPA Prostate cancer link

Low Levels of BPA Adversely Affects the Prenatal Brain: Study

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in food and personal care products linked with female reproductive health problems

CFL Graphic-BPA-Premature babies.jpg

New research examines BPA’s effect on the brain

Toxic Food Packaging Chemical BPA Still Present in US Canned Goods

CFL Graphic-BPA-Breast cancer link

FDA Refuses to Ban Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging

CFL graphic-FDA reg capture by big food-big chemical-bpa



**The FDA has evaluated data from studies measuring BPA in human urine and determined that human exposure to the chemical is at very low, and therefore, safe levels. This new research challenges that assumption and raises questions about not only consumer exposure to BPA, but also other chemicals, including BPA replacements, that are assessed using indirect methods.

***Scientists have now developed a direct way of measuring BPA that more accurately accounts for BPA metabolites, the compounds that are created as the chemical passes through the human body. Previously, most studies had to rely on an indirect process to measure BPA metabolites, using an enzyme solution made from a snail to transform the metabolites back into whole BPA, which could then be measured.  The new method is able to directly measure the BPA metabolites themselves without using the enzyme solution.

What’s next?

The research team is conducting further experiments into BPA measurement, as well as other chemicals that may also have been measured in this manner, a category that includes environmental phenols such as parabens, benzophenone, triclosan found in some cosmetics and soaps, and phthalates found in many consumer products including toys, food packaging and personal care products.


Journal Reference:  Roy Gerona, Frederick S vom Saal, Patricia A Hunt. BPA: have flawed analytical techniques compromised risk assessments? The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2019; Overview source; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30381-X