Bisphenol A (BPA) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) are high-production-volume chemicals used in plastics and resins for food packaging.
They have been associated with endocrine disruption in animals and in some human studies.
Human exposure sources have been estimated, but the relative contribution of dietary exposure to total intake has not been studied
To evaluate the contribution of food packaging to exposure, researchers measured urinary BPA and phthalate metabolites before, during and after a “fresh foods” dietary
Researchers selected 20 participants in five families based on self-reported use of canned and packaged foods. Participants ate their usual diet, followed by three days of “fresh foods” that were not canned or packaged in plastic, and then returned to their usual diet. Researchers collected evening urine samples over eight days in January 2010 and composited them into pre-intervention, intervention, and post-intervention samples, used mixed effects models for repeated measures and Wilcoxon signed rank tests to assess change in urinary levels across time.
Urine levels of BPA and DEHP metabolites decreased significantly during the fresh foods intervention (e.g., BPA geometric mean 3.7 ng/mL pre-intervention and 1.2 ng/mL during intervention; MEHHP geometric mean 57 ng/mL vs 25 ng/mL).
The intervention reduced geometric mean concentrations of BPA by 66% and DEHP metabolites by 53-56%. Maxima were reduced by 76% for BPA and 93-96% for DEHP
BPA and DEHP exposures were substantially reduced when participants’ diets were restricted to food with limited packaging.
Ruthann A. Rudel, Janet M. Gray, Connie L. Engel, Teresa W. Rawsthorne, Robin E. Dodson, Janet M. Ackerman, Jeanne Rizzo, Janet L. Nudelman, Julia Green Brody
Rudel RA, Gray JM, Engel CL, Rawsthorne TW, Dodson RE, Ackerman JM, et al. 2011. Food Packaging and Bisphenol A and Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate Exposure: Findings from a Dietary Intervention. Environ Health Perspect :-.