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Endocrinology. 2006 Jun;147(6 Suppl):S56-69. Epub 2006 May 11.

Large effects from small exposures. III. Endocrine mechanisms mediating effects of bisphenol A at levels of human exposure.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, E102 Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211-5120, USA. WelshonsW@missouri.edu

Abstract

Over 6 billion pounds per year of the estrogenic monomer bisphenol A (BPA) are used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic products, in resins lining metal cans, in dental sealants, and in blends with other types of plastic products. The ester bond linking BPA molecules in polycarbonate and resins undergoes hydrolysis, resulting in the release of free BPA into food, beverages, and the environment, and numerous monitoring studies now show almost ubiquitous human exposure to biologically active levels of this chemical. BPA exerts estrogenic effects through the classical nuclear estrogen receptors, and BPA acts as a selective estrogen receptor modulator. However, BPA also initiates rapid responses via estrogen receptors presumably associated with the plasma membrane. Similar to estradiol, BPA causes changes in some cell functions at concentrations between 1 pM and 1 nM, and the mean and median range of unconjugated BPA measured by multiple techniques in human pregnant maternal, fetal, and adult blood and other tissues exceeds these levels. In contrast to these published findings, BPA manufacturers persist in describing BPA as a weak estrogen and insist there is little concern with human exposure levels. Our concern with human exposure to BPA derives from 1) identification of molecular mechanisms mediating effects in human and animal tissues at very low doses, 2) in vivo effects in experimental animals caused by low doses within the range of human exposure, and 3) widespread human exposure to levels of BPA that cause adverse effects in animals.

PMID:
16690810
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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