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About Author manuscripts Submit a manuscript NIH Public Access; Author Manuscript; Accepted for publication in peer reviewed journal;
Reprod Toxicol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2008 August 1.
Published in final edited form as:

Published online 2007 June 26. doi:  10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.06.004

PMCID: PMC2151845


In Vivo Effects of Bisphenol A in Laboratory Rodent Studies

1U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO

2U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC

3Department of Physiology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy4National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, DHHS, Research Triangle Park, NC5Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA6Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany7Department of Zoology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC8Department of Biology, Carleton College, Northfield, MN9Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Correspondence to: Catherine A. Richter, 4200 New Haven Rd., Columbia Environmental Research Center, USGS, Columbia, MO 65201, Phone: (573) 876-1841, Fax: (573) 876-1896, e-mail:
The publisher’s final edited version of this article is available at Reprod Toxicol
See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.


Concern is mounting regarding the human health and environmental effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a high-production-volume chemical used in synthesis of plastics. We have reviewed the growing literature on effects of low doses of BPA, below 50 mg/kg/day, in laboratory exposures with mammalian model organisms. Many, but not all, effects of BPA are similar to effects seen in response to the model estrogens diethylstilbestrol and ethinylestradiol. For most effects, the potency of BPA is approximately 10 to 1,000-fold less than that of diethylstilbestrol or ethinylestradiol. Based on our review of the literature, a consensus was reached regarding our level of confidence that particular outcomes occur in response to low-dose BPA exposure. We are confident that adult exposure to BPA affects the male reproductive tract, and that long-lasting, organizational effects in response to developmental exposure to BPA occur in the brain, the male reproductive system, and metabolic processes. We consider it likely, but requiring further confirmation, that adult exposure to BPA affects the brain, the female reproductive system, and the immune system, and that developmental effects occur in the female reproductive system.

Keywords: Behavior, Neuroendocrine, Endocrine Disruptors, Immune System, Metabolism, Mouse, Rat, Reproduction


Bisphenol A (BPA) is used as the monomer to manufacture polycarbonate plastic, the resin that lines most food and beverage cans, dental sealants, and as an additive in other plastics (Figure 1, Table 1) [1]. BPA is one of the highest volume chemicals produced worldwide; global BPA production capacity in 2003 was 2.2 million metric tons (over 6.4 billion pounds), with a 6-10% growth in demand expected per year [2]. Heat and either acidic or basic conditions accelerate hydrolysis of the ester bond linking BPA monomers, leading to release of BPA and the potential for human and environmental exposure. Studies conducted in Japan [3] and in the USA [4] have shown that BPA accounts for the majority of estrogenic activity that leaches from landfills into the surrounding ecosystem.

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