Association between urinary levels of bisphenol-A and estrogen metabolism in Korean adults

Eun Jee Kim, Dongho Lee, Bong Chul Chung, Heesoo Pyo, Jeongae Lee

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Bisphenol-A (BPA) possesses estrogenic properties both in vitro and in vivo as an endocrine disrupting chemical. Humans experience a long-term and cumulative exposure to BPA. BPA was detectable in 97.3% of 1904 urine specimens from Korean adults. We investigated urinary estrogen concentrations in subjects with low and high BPA concentrations and its possible association with estrogen metabolism. Urine samples were collected from a high BPA concentration group (BPA-H; n = 100, 11.05 ± 20.47. μg/g creatinine) and a low BPA concentration group (BPA-L; n = 100, 0.70 ± 0.22. μg/g creatinine) from Korea Biomonitoring Program of Hazardous Materials Survey 2009-2010. Urinary estrogens were enzymatically hydrolyzed, extracted, and then derivatized for quantitative analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Estrogen levels were higher in the BPA-H group than in the BPA-L group. Concentrations of estrone, 17β-estradiol, and their hydroxylated metabolites in both men and women were significantly higher in the BPA-H group than in the BPA-L group (p. <. 0.04). Furthermore, in the BPA-H group, estrogen metabolism to 4-hydroxy-estrone and 4-hydroxy-17β-estradiol was more active than that to 2-hydroxy-estrone and 2-hydroxy-17β-estradiol. Although single measurement and/or single spot urine samples limit the measurement of long-term exposure to BPA, we found significant differences of estrogen metabolism in the BPA-H and the BPA-L groups. The increase of hydroxyestrogens, especially 4-hydroxyestrogens, can be an important factor resulting negative effects of prolonged exposure to BPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1401-1407
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was financially supported by Korea Food and Drug Administration ( 09182KFDA608 ), by an intramural grant from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) , and by the Converging Research Center Program through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2011K000885 ).


  • Bisphenol-A
  • Estrogen metabolism
  • Hydroxylase
  • Steroid hormone
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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