Nahar et al.
Exposure to endocrine active compounds, including bisphenol A (BPA), remains poorly characterized in developing countries despite the fact that behavioral practices related to westernization have the potential to influence exposure. BPA is a high production volume chemical that has been associated with metabolic dysfunction as well as behavioral and developmental effects in people, including children. In this pilot study, we evaluate BPA exposure and assess likely pathways of exposure among girls from urban and rural Egypt.
We measured urinary concentrations of total (free plus conjugated) species of BPA in spot samples in urban (N = 30) and rural (N = 30) Egyptian girls, and compared these concentrations to preexisting data from age-matched American girls (N = 47) from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We also collected anthropometric and questionnaire data regarding food storage behaviors to assess potential routes of exposure.
Urban and rural Egyptian girls exhibited similar concentrations of urinary total BPA, with median unadjusted values of 1.00 and 0.60 ng/mL, respectively. Concentrations of urinary BPA in this group of Egyptian girls (median unadjusted: 0.70 ng/mL) were significantly lower compared to age-matched American girls (median unadjusted: 2.60 ng/mL) according to NHANES 2009-2010 data. Reported storage of food in plastic containers was a significant predictor of increasing concentrations of urinary BPA.
Despite the relatively low urinary BPA concentrations within this Egyptian cohort, the significant association between food storage behaviors and increasing urinary BPA concentration highlights the need to understand food and consumer product patterns that may be closing the gap between urban and rural lifestyles.
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