Bisphenol A (BPA) toxicity and exposure risk to humans has been the subject of considerable scientific debate; however, published occupational exposure data for BPA are limited.
In 2013–2014, 77 workers at six US companies making BPA, BPA-based resins, or BPA-filled wax provided seven urine samples over two consecutive work days (151 worker-days, 525 samples). Participant information included industry, job, tasks, personal protective equipment used, hygiene behaviors, and canned food/beverage consumption. Total (free plus conjugated) BPA, quantified in urine by mass spectrometry, was detected in all samples.
The geometric mean (GM) creatinine-adjusted total BPA (total BPACR) concentration was 88.0 µg g−1 (range 0.78–18900 µg g−1), ~70 times higher than in US adults in 2013–2014 (1.27 µg g−1). GM total BPACR increased during Day 1 (26.6–127 µg g−1), decreased by pre-shift Day 2 (84.4 µg g−1) then increased during Day 2 to 178 µg g−1. By industry, baseline and post-baseline total BPACR was highest in BPA-filled wax manufacturing/reclaim (GM = 111 µg g−1) and lowest in phenolic resin manufacturing (GM = 6.56 µg g−1). By job, total BPACR was highest at baseline in maintenance workers (GM = 157 µg g−1) and post-baseline in those working with molten BPA-filled wax (GM = 441 µg g−1). Workers in the job of flaking a BPA-based resin had the lowest concentrations at baseline (GM = 4.81 µg g−1) and post-baseline (GM = 23.2 µg g−1). In multiple regression models, at baseline, industry significantly predicted increased total BPACR (P = 0.0248); post-baseline, handling BPA containers (P = 0.0035), taking ≥3 process/bulk samples with BPA (P = 0.0002) and wearing a Tyvek® coverall (P = 0.0042) significantly predicted increased total BPACR (after adjusting for total BPACR at baseline, time point, and body mass index).
Several work-related factors, including industry, job, and certain tasks performed, were associated with increased urinary total BPACR concentrations in this group of manufacturing workers. The potential for BPA-related health effects among these workers is unknown.