Critical evaluation of key evidence on the human health hazards of exposure to bisphenol A


For more than 10 years there has been a scientific and journalistic controversy whether bisphenol A (BPA) causes adverse effects in humans related to its estro- genic activity (Borrell, 2010; Lorentzen and Hattan, 2010; Aschberger et al., 2010; Taylor et al., 2010; Yang et al., 2009). BPA, a building block of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, was first synthesized in 1891. However, commercial production did not begin before the early 1950s when the first epoxy resins were devel- oped (Vogel, 2009). Epoxy resins are extensively used as protective coatings on metal equipment, food cans, pip- ing, and dental sealants. In 1957, it was discovered that polymerization of BPA with phosgene leads to polycar- bonate. There is an unusual wealth of safety-related stud- ies carried out on BPA. These cover nearly every possible endpoint. Its estrogenic properties were described as early as 1936 (Dodds and Lawson, 1936). To date, more than 5000 studies on BPA have been published. It is obvi- ous that this should be enough information to resolve the controversy, but nevertheless this has not yet been achieved and those not directly involved in BPA research are usually puzzled by the never-ending and sometimes emotional debate. In order to contribute to a balanced and well-founded resolution of the seemingly dead- locked situation, the Advisory Committee of the German Critical Reviews in Toxicology Downloaded from by on 04/02/13 For personal use only. Society of Toxicology1 reviewed the background and the cutting-edge questions of the BPA controversy (Table 1) and offers an independent judgement.

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