Bisphenol A is a chemical used in the manufacture of certain types of plastics. It is one of the most widely used chemicals worldwide and is found in products such as food packaging and certain types of dental sealant. In recent years there has been some concern that Bisphenol A is now so abundant that the general population are exposed to it on a regular basis. Recent research from other countries has revealed that in a large proportion of people tested, small amounts of the chemical were detected in their urine. Human exposure to Bisphenol A has not previously been investigated in Australia.
The primary source of exposure to Bisphenol A for most people is believed to be through the diet. While air, dust, and water are other possible sources of exposure, Bisphenol A in food and beverages accounts for the majority of daily human exposure.
Research is beginning to suggest that at low continual levels of exposure there may be some health effects from exposure to chemicals such as Bisphenol A, however there is little information at this time as to what these effects might be in humans and at what concentrations they may occur. Current evidence suggests that Bisphenol A is rapidly eliminated from the body in urine.
As we do not currently have any information regarding human exposure to Bisphenol A in Australia, research staff from Edith Cowan University have developed a study to investigate the exposure of pregnant women to the chemical.
The results of this study will be available later in 2011. For more information, contact Dr Anna Callan.