In an editorial published on August 24, 2018, Claire Beausoleil and colleagues from the Risk Assessment Department of ANSES (Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail), France, introduced a special issue published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, focusing on how bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) “can fulfill criteria for identification as an EDC [(endocrine disrupting chemical)] for human health in a regulatory setting.” The authors summarize that “BPA has long been described as an endocrine active substance and over the last decades, the concern that BPA may induce adverse effects through endocrine disruption has been raised.” However, because the toxic response to BPA is complex, it “raises difficulties in its characterization as well as its regulatory consideration and acceptance and may be interpreted as inconsistencies that challenge the acknowledgement of the effect itself.”

To address this challenge, the authors and their colleagues analyzed academic and regulatory studies on BPA to assess whether BPA “could be considered as an EDC under REACH.” This analysis was done according to the EDC definition given by the World Health Organization (WHO) / International Panel on Chemical Safety (IPCS) in 2002, stating that “an endocrine disruptor is an exogenous substance or mixture that alters function(s) of the endocrine system and consequently causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, or (sub)populations.” The scientists concluded that four effects, namely “alteration of estrous cyclicity, of mammary gland development, of learning and memory, and of metabolism,” have “solid evidence” of endocrine disruption-mediated effects of BPA. The overall analysis and each of the four effects are discussed in respective articles included in the special issue.

In a concluding article, the authors emphasize that “disruption of estrogenic pathway is central in the mediation of these effects although other modes of action may be involved.” They further observe that the effects occur “later in life after developmental exposure and are associated with pathologies of major societal concern in terms of severity, incidence, impact on quality of life, burden on public health system.” Establishing safe exposure levels is associated with uncertainties caused by the “complexity of the dose response.” Because of this, the scope of endocrine disruption-mediated effects of BPA “may be wider.” Overall, BPA does fulfill the requirements for being identified as an EDC under REACH, the authors conclude.

BPA has been identified as EDC “having endocrine disrupting properties with probable human health effects” in June 2017 (FPF reported) and as EDC “having endocrine disrupting properties causing probably serious effects in the environment” in January 2018 (FPF reported).


Beausoleil, C., et al. (2018). “Special issue: Is BPA an ED?Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 1-3.

Beausoleil, C., et al. (2018). “Regulatory identification of BPA as an endocrine disruptor: Context and methodology.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 4-9.

Viguié, C., et al. (2018). “Evidence-based adverse outcome pathway approach for the identification of BPA as an endocrine disruptor in relation to its effect on the estrous cycle.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 10-28.

Perrot-Applanat, M., et al. (2018). “Alteration of mammary gland development by bisphenol A and evidence of a mode of action mediated through endocrine disruption.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 29-53.

Mhaouty-Kodja, S., et al. (2018). “Impairment of learning and memory performances induced by BPA: Evidences from the literature of a MoA mediated through an ED.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 54-73.

Le Magueresse-Battistoni, B., et al. (2018). “Effects of bisphenol A on metabolism and evidences of a mode of action mediated through endocrine disruption.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 74-91.

Pouzaud, F., et al. (2018). “Concerns related to ED-mediated effects of Bisphenol A and their regulatory consideration.” Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 475: 92-106.