Bisphenol A concentrations in maternal breast milk and infant urine

  • K. Mendonca
  • R. Hauser
  • A. M. Calafat
  • T. E. Arbuckle
  • S. M. Duty
Original Article



The present report describes the distribution of breast milk and urinary free and total bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations, from 27 postpartum women and their 31 infants, and explores the influence of age, sex, and nutritional source on infant BPA urinary concentration.


Both free (unconjugated) and total (free plus conjugated) BPA concentrations from women’s breast milk samples and infants’ urine samples were measured by online solid-phase extraction coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography–isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Descriptive statistics and nonparametric tests of group comparisons were conducted.


Total BPA was detected in 93 % of urine samples in this healthy infant population aged 3–15 months who were without known environmental exposure to BPA [interquartile range (IQR) = 1.2–4.4 μg/L)]. Similarly, 75 % of the mothers’ breast milk samples had detectable concentrations of total BPA (IQR = 0.4–1.4 μg/L). The magnitude and frequency of detection of free BPA in the children’s urine and the mothers’ breast milk were much lower than the total concentrations.


Total BPA was detected in 93 % of this healthy infant population aged 3–15 months who are without known environmental exposure to BPA. Neither free nor total BPA urinary concentrations differed significantly by infant’s sex or by nutritional source (breast milk and/or formula) while age group was of borderline significance. There were no significant correlations between free or total BPA concentrations in mothers’ breast milk and their infants’ urine.


Bisphenol A Breast milk Urine Infant Exposure 



Bisphenol A


US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Geometric mean


High-performance liquid chromatography


Limit of detection


Massachusetts General Hospital


Harvard School of Public Health


Tandem mass spectrometry


National Toxicology Program


Quality control


World Health Organization



Jennifer Ford RN, BSN (Harvard School of Public Health). Dr. Elizabeth Hait, MD (Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA). Xiaoyun Ye, Xiaoliu Zhou, Tao Jia, and Amber Bishop (CDC) for the measurements of BPA. The biospecimen analyses were funded under the Government of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan. Kaitlin Mendonca was supported by training grant Harvard School of Public Health- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (HSPH-NIEHS) Pilot Grant #P30ES000002.

Conflict of interest

IRB approval was obtained from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada, and Simmons College. Funding sources had no role in study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or in the decision of whether to publish the results. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Mendonca
    • 1
  • R. Hauser
    • 2
  • A. M. Calafat
    • 3
  • T. E. Arbuckle
    • 4
  • S. M. Duty
    • 1
  1. 1.Nursing Programs, School of Nursing and Health SciencesSimmons CollegeBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.National Center for Environmental HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Population Studies DivisionHealthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch Health CanadaOttawaCanada

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