health effects of BPA

The negative health effects of BPA exposure are associated with a higher risk of death.

BPA (Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical found in most consumer plastics and coatings. It is used to help manufacture plastic bottles, and to coat water pipes and beverage cans. The widespread exposure of BPA in everyday items makes it difficult for people to avoid. Previous studies conducted in the US have reported that BPA can be found in more than 90% of urine samples. An understanding of the health effects of BPA exposure is therefore important.

Animal and epidemiological studies revealed BPA toxicity. The negative health effects of BPA exposure include increased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and other metabolic disorders. However, the association between BPA exposure and death is still unknown.

A recent study assessed how BPA exposure is associated with death. The researchers analyzed 3,883 adults (aged 20 years and older) from a 2003 to 2008 United States national health survey. The participants were cross-referenced and linked to a centralized mortality database through 2015. Urine samples collected and reported in the national health survey were used to measure BPA exposure. Mortality data included death from heart disease and cancer. The study found that higher urinary BPA levels were associated with higher risk of death. However, the association between BPA and heart disease is unclear, while there is no association between BPA and cancer death.

This was the first study to look into the relationship between BPA exposure and death. The use of a national survey allowed for a large study population to investigate the effects of BPA on health. However, the researchers expressed that individual urine samples can vary and that the possibility remains for some errors in reporting.

BPA is found in everyday items. Higher BPA exposure is strongly related to an increased risk of death, but it does not appear to be related to heart disease and cancer.

Written by Manuel Bangsil, PharmD, MBA, BCMAS


  1. Bao W, Liu B, Rong S, Dai SY, Trasande L, Lehmler HJ. Association Between Bisphenol A Exposure and Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in US Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2011620.
  2. Image by Darko Djurin from Pixabay 
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