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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jun 1;626:1494-1501. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.042. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Bisphenol A distribution in serum, urine, placenta, breast milk, and umbilical cord serum in a birth panel of mother-neonate pairs.

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Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
College of Natural Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Marine Sciences and Convergent Technology, Hanyang University, Ansan, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Republic of Korea.
Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure during the perinatal and postnatal periods increases the susceptibility to disease over the life cycle. However, information on the BPA delivered to fetuses or infants via the placenta and breastfeeding is limited. We determined the BPA exposure levels in various bodily fluids and tissues of pregnant women and described fetus and infant exposures to BPA based on associations and BPA ratios in mother-neonate paired samples. Maternal serum, urine, placenta, breast milk, cord serum, and neonatal urine samples were collected from 318 mother-neonate pairs at six university hospitals in Korea. BPA levels were detected using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The ratios of the BPA levels in the other sample types to the levels in maternal serum were calculated. BPA was detected in 79.5-100% of the maternal and fetal samples. The median BPA concentration in the samples decreased in the order of neonatal urine (4.75ng/mL), maternal urine (2.86ng/mL), cord serum (1.71ng/mL), maternal serum (1.56ng/mL), breast milk (0.74ng/mL), and the placenta (0.53ng/g). We estimated the ratios of BPA levels in the other sample types to those in maternal serum. The median (95th percentile) cord serum-to-maternal serum ratio was 1.12 (15.2) for 160 mother-fetal pairs, in which BPA was detected in both samples. The placenta-, maternal urine-, neonatal urine-, and breast milk-to-maternal serum ratios were 0.28 (5.31), 1.79 (29.9), 1.98 (28.2), and 0.51 (10.5), respectively. In addition, the median (95th percentile) cord serum-to-placenta ratio was 4.03 (45.8), and the neonatal urine-to-cord serum ratio was 1.95 (25.6). The 95th percentile values were 14-20-fold greater than the medians. Urine contained the highest BPA concentrations, followed by serum, breast milk, and the placenta. The variations of BPA ratio show individual differences in the amounts of BPA delivered from mother to fetus.


BPA ratio; Bisphenol A; Neonates; Pregnant women; Tissue distribution

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