Determinants of exposure levels of bisphenols in flemish adolescents.

Affiliation

Gys C(1), Bastiaensen M(2), Bruckers L(3), Colles A(4), Govarts E(4), Martin LR(4), Verheyen V(5), Koppen G(4), Morrens B(6), Den Hond E(7), De Decker A(7), Schoeters G(5), Covaci A(8).
Author information:
(1)Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium.
(3)BioStat, Data Science Institute, Hasselt University, Martelarenlaan 42, 3500, Hasselt, Belgium.
(4)VITO Health, Flemish Institute for Technological Research
(VITO), Boeretang 200, 2400, Mol, Belgium.
(5)VITO Health, Flemish Institute for Technological Research
(VITO), Boeretang 200, 2400, Mol, Belgium; Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium.
(6)Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp, Sint-Jacobstraat 2, 2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
(7)Provincial Institute of Hygiene, Kronenburgstraat 45, 2000, Antwerp, Belgium.
(8)Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Wilrijk, Belgium. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The broadly used industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), applied in numerous consumer products, has been under scrutiny in the past 20 years due to its widespread detection in humans and the environment and potential detrimental effects on human health. Following implemented restrictions and phase-out initiatives, BPA is replaced by alternative bisphenols, which have not received the same amount of research attention. As a part of the fourth cycle of the Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS IV, 2016-2020), we monitored the internal exposure to six bisphenols in urine samples of 423 adolescents (14-15 years old) from Flanders, Belgium. All measured bisphenols were detected in the study population, with BPA and its alternatives bisphenol F (BPF) and bisphenol S (BPS) showing detection frequencies > 50%. The reference values show that exposure to these compounds is extensive. However, the urinary BPA level decreased significantly in Flemish adolescents compared to a previous cycle of the FLEHS (2008-2009). This suggests that the replacement of BPA with its analogues is ongoing. Concentrations of bisphenols measured in the Flemish adolescents were generally in the same order of magnitude compared to recent studies worldwide. Multiple regression models were used to identify determinants of exposure based on information on demographic and lifestyle characteristics of participants, acquired through questionnaires. Some significant determinants could be identified: sex, season, smoking behavior, educational level of the parents, recent consumption of certain foods and use of certain products were found to be significantly associated with levels of bisphenols. Preliminary risk assessment showed that none of the estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of BPA exceeded the tolerable daily intake, even in a high exposure scenario. For alternative bisphenols, no health-based guidance values are available, but in line with the measured urinary levels, their EDIs were lower than that of BPA. This study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to determine internal exposure levels of other bisphenols than BPA in a European adolescent population.