A reanalysis of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) data shows an association of prenatal and postnatal bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and the body mass index (BMI) (Harley et al. 2013). The result confirms earlier findings in animal studies that had linked BPA exposure to increased fat deposition and metabolic syndrome, pointing to a role of the PPAR-γ pathway. The researchers from the University of California, U.S. found BPA exposures at age 9 were positively associated with BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, and overweight/obesity of both, boys and girls at age 9. Counter-intuitively, prenatal exposures to BPA were inversely associated with BMI in girls aged 9. The association was not found for boys. The study was based on two maternal spot urine measurements during pregnancy and two spot urine measurements in children at age 5 and 9 of 402 mothers and their children. The study measured total urinary BPA (uBPA) with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.4 µg/L. More than 81 % of samples taken had uBPA levels above the LOD.


Harley, KG et al. Prenatal and Postnatal Bisphenol A Exposure and Body Mass Index in Childhood in the CHAMACOS Cohort. Environ Health Perspect (published online February 15, 2013). doi:10.1289/ehp.1205548