Underestimating BPA levels: Urgent need for reanalysis of population data and reassessment of risk

March 24, 2020
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources


Patricia Hunt: Underestimating BPA Levels.


Gerona, R., S vom Saal, Frederick, Hunt, P. 2020. BPA: have flawed analytical techniques compromised risk assessments?Lancet. 8(1):11-13. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30381-X.


During this webinar, Dr. Patricia Hunt discussed data published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology in January. In this publication she and co-authors, Roy Gerona and Fred vom Saal, demonstrated that levels of BPA in human urine measured using common indirect analytical methods are woefully inaccurate. These methods have been used extensively to study BPA. However, their inability to accurately measure BPA metabolites suggests human BPA levels have been radically underestimated. This raises two important concerns.  First, the assumption that human BPA exposure is extremely low has been a cornerstone of regulatory decisions.  Thus, the need for both new population studies of BPA levels using new direct analytical methods and re-evaluation of the risks posed by this chemical is urgent. Second, because many other chemicals are also measured using indirect techniques (e.g. phthalates, parabens, triclosan), the findings raise concern that inaccurate EDC measurement in human biospecimens may be a pervasive problem.

Featured Speaker

Patricia Hunt, PhD, is the Meyer Distinguished Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University, Pullman, WA. She started her research career studying human chromosome abnormalities.  Her goal was to understand the high incidence of chromosomally abnormal eggs produced by human females and why the incidence is so strongly impacted by advancing maternal age.  She remains fascinated by this complex problem, but the accidental exposure of her mice to bisphenol A (BPA) in 1998 focused her attention on the effects of common environmental contaminants on reproduction. Her current research focuses on chemical mixtures and transgenerational effects of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Dr. Hunt was named one of the top 50 researchers of the year by Scientific American in 2007, was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2015 and received the Hartman Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction in 2018Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 25 years.  Dr. Hunt is particularly interested in science communication and is dedicated to ensuring that future trainees not only will be outstanding scientists but easily able to communicate their findings to the general public.

This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal HEEDS, Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies), and Genon Jensen (HEAL) and coordinated by Hannah Donart (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page. 

This webinar was moderated by Jerry Heindel, PhD, founder and director of Commonweal's Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies (HEEDS). It lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.