Bisphenol A exposure
and Prostate Cancer
Lauren Miller, Angie Moss, Michael Wallingford, Pamela
What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A has been in use for about fifty years in the
Industrial chemical used in the production of epoxy
resins and polycarbonate plastics.
Frequently used in food and beverage containers
Inner liners of metallic food and beverage containers to
Used on thermal papers like cash register and ATM
Hazard Assessment: MSDS
4, 4’ – Isopropylidenediphenol (C15H16O2)
Health risk: 3* (*additional chronic hazards present)
Engineering: mechanical exhaust required
PPE: Respirator, chemical gloves, safety googles, other
Toxicological Information: “To the best of our knowledge, the
chemical, physical, and toxicological properties have not
been thoroughly investigated.
Environmental Information: Indication of bioaccumulation
Superfunds Amendments and Reauthorization Act,
Section 313- BPA manufacturers must submit an
annual toxic chemical release report
Listed as an irritant in the EU and US according to
Primary exposure is via ingestion
BPA migrates from food/beverage containers
Migration is increased when container is heated
Other possible routes are inhalation and dermal
Exposure is widespread; more than 90% of Americans
have been exposed to bisphenol a at some point.
Hazard Assessment: Estimated BPA
exposures (National Toxicology Program)
Population BPA micrograms/kg bw/day
Infant 0-6months formula fed 1-11
Infant 0-6months breast fed 0.2-1
Infant 6-12 months 1.65-13
Child 1.5-6 years 0.043-14.7
Adult- General Population 0.008
Adult- Occupational 0.043-100
The EU currently has suggested a temporary tolerable
daily intake of 5μg/kg bw/day pending further study
results, a drop from the previous TDI of 50μg/kg
European Food Safety Administration believes health
risk for all population group is low because “estimates
for...exposure...are 3-5 times lower than the proposed t-
No current TDI as defined by the FDA- current
assessment is that BPA is safe at “the very low levels
that occur in some foods”
Some studies have been initiated by the National
Center for Toxicological Research; findings will be
published in peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Have published a rule amending food additive
regulations to no longer provide for the use of BPA
based epoxy resins as coatings in infant formula
packaging because this use has been abandoned.
California, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New York, Iowa,
Minnesota, Connecticut, and Wisconsin
have banned BPA in all baby bottles and
Washington and Vermont have both
banned it in all sports bottles,
reusable food/beverage containers, as
well as baby bottles and sippy cups
Colorado vetoed House Bill 12-1174 in
February 2012, which proposed to ban
BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-
related death in U.S. men
Approximately 15% of men will be diagnosed with prostate
cancer in their lifetime
With the 1987 introduction of prostate-specific antigen
testing, the newly enhanced ability to diagnose the disease
caused incidence to spike to 240 age-adjusted cases per
100,000 men by 1992. After this “catch-up” period rates
dropped for three years, but are now back on the rise.
•Previous research has linked elevated estrogen levels during
pregnancy to increased risk of prostate cancer in males.
BPA is a suspected endocrine disruptor
Acts by interfering with the biosynthesis, secretion, action
or metabolism of naturally occurring hormones.
In animal models, estrogens can drive carcinogenesis of
the prostate and have long been suspected of playing a
role in human prostate cancer
Scientists have hypothesized that prenatal exposure to
estrogen-like compounds including BPA may account
for recent increases in the rates of prostate cancer.
Study Published in
Public Library of Science
Focus on observations in this study – Exposure to BPA
Correlates with Early-Onset Prostate Cancer and Promotes
Centrosome Amplification and Anchorage- Independent
Growth in Vitro
Centrosome Amplification is when there are two or more
Anchorage-Independent Growth is when cells grow
exponentially/out of control
Seemed to make use of viable scientific research methods
specific for their hypothesis
Recognized it’s limits because there are limits
Centromere is key to proper
Centromeres have a dynamic and
specialized functional regions
Centromere region is where sister
chromatids are attached
During mitosis/cell division spindle
poles will adhere to the centromere
Regions Essential to Mitosis/Cell
Urinary BPA levels may be associated with prostate cancer
and may have a prognostic value
BPA exposure can disrupt mitosis/cell division; specifically
affecting the centromere region causing some cells to have
Proposed that if there is exposure early in life to an
estrogenic compound- BPA- it may reprograms stem cells
Proposed this study could be an addition to the growing field
of epigenetics, linking this chemical to altered DNA in
fetuses and the potential for later life disease
Limits within the study
Research was done with cell based model studies and
cannot be extrapolated to humans
Data observed should not be considered conclusive but
rather seen as preliminary findings
Obviously, important to replicate study results and
ultimately long term human studies need to be done
Observed Effects on
Numbers of centromeres were scored using
Observed increase in abnormal centromeres in cells
exposed to the BPA
Low doses of BPA promoted centrosome
amplification/altering of the centromere and causing
adverse effects thus may play a long term role in
Urinary BPA Levels May show Correlation
with Prostate Cancer
Stratified analyses showed
the association between
urinary BPA levels and
Prostate Cancer was highly
significant among patients <
65 and that it was not
significant for those >65.
Perplexing and at face value this suggests that higher BPA exposure
is associated with earlier onset of Prostate Cancer.
However, based on theory of epigenetics the findings do raise the
possibility of early life reprogramming of prostate cancer in humans
BPA Exposure correlated with Prostate
Chronic BPA exposure
abnormal growth in cells
Representative of colonies
after 2 weeks incubation
Cells with the BPA exposure
formed larger colonies
compared with those grown
in absence of BPA
American Chemistry Council
For Immediate Release - Washington (Jan. 6, 2014)
STUDY CLAIMING INCREASED PROSTATE CANCER
RISK FROM BPA EXPOSURE IS NOT SUPPORTED
BY RELIABLE HUMAN EXPOSURE DATA
“The weight of scientific evidence on BPA has been
extensively evaluated by government and scientific
bodies around the world, which have declared it safe
as used in food contact materials.”
Concerns Observed in the
The effects of low-dose exposure to BPA in lab animals
(done in determining affect on estrogen levels) are not
Need to exercise caution when extrapolating these findings
to humans; the study was derived from animal studies and
cell based models.
How could an analogous study on men be done?
To obtain results of early exposure to BPA and it’s relation to
prostate cancer would take 50 plus years
More research is needed- but does this justify holding out on
a ban on BPA?
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