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Environmental and occupational exposure to bisphenol A and endometriosis: urinary and peritoneal fluid concentration levels

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Abstract

Objectives

The study aimed to give a first data set of bisphenol A (BPA) levels in the peritoneal fluid of patients suffering from endometriosis and to investigate the relationship between BPA exposure and endometriosis.

Methods

A questionnaire investigating the occupational context, life environment, and habits was administered to 68 patients suffering from endometriosis and 60 endometriosis-free subjects (control group). Urine and peritoneal fluids samples were collected and analysed by GC/MSMS for BPA dosage.

Results

Some of the investigated environmental/lifestyle risk factors (closeness to industries/activities at risk) were associated with an increase in endometriosis; smoking resulted as protective factor; others (use of food plastic boxes) did not seem to influence the onset of pathology. The association between the occupational exposure summarising all examined risk factors (working activity, personal protective equipment, seniority) and endometriosis was statistically significant (χ 2 = 5.252, p = 0.02). Contrasting results were obtained when specific activities were examined. Detectable urinary BPA levels were found in all analysed samples (patients: 1.17–12.68 pg/µl; mean ± SD, 5.31 ± 3.36 pg/µl; control group: 1.28–2.35 pg/µl; mean ± SD, 1.64 ± 0.49 pg/µl; median; 1.46 pg/µl), with a statistically significant difference between patients and controls, showing an association between BPA exposure and endometriosis. Only a few subjects from the control group supplied peritoneal fluid; hence, no comparison test with patients (range 0.39–1.46 pg/µl; mean ± SD, 0.67 ± 0.30 pg/µl; median, 0.58 pg/µl) was carried out.

Conclusions

Results highlight the potential association between BPA exposure and endometriosis, as well as the current lack of knowledge regarding occupational exposure to BPA and the need of epidemiological studies focused on single activities/occupations, such as housewives, cleaners, students.

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Correspondence to Maria Pieri.

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Simonelli, A., Guadagni, R., De Franciscis, P. et al. Environmental and occupational exposure to bisphenol A and endometriosis: urinary and peritoneal fluid concentration levels. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 90, 49–61 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-016-1171-1

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