Issue Date: February 2, 2009
Bisphenol A Clears From Body Slowly
Unexpectedly high levels of the plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) have been found in urine samples collected from people who fasted for up to 24 hours (Environ. Health Perspect., DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0800376). The results suggest that people do not metabolize the estrogenic chemical as quickly as previously thought or that food is not the primary source of BPA exposure, or both. Richard W. Stahlhut of the University of Rochester Medical Center and coworkers analyzed data from 1,469 adult participants in a national health survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The scientists found no relationship between fasting time and the level of BPA in the participants' urine. Scientists have long assumed that BPA is cleared from the body within 24 hours of exposure. Stahlhut suggests that BPA may instead accumulate in fat, from which it is slowly released. Additional studies are needed to compare BPA levels in fat, blood, and urine, he says. The work also points to the need for investigating nonfood sources of BPA, such as house dust, dental sealants, and polyvinyl chloride pipes used to supply drinking water.
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