Estimating bisphenol A exposure levels using a questionnaire targeting known sources of exposure

Sarah Oppeneer Nomura, Lisa Harnack, Kim Robien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective To develop a BPA Exposure Assessment Module (BEAM) for use in large observational studies and to evaluate the ability of the BEAM to estimate bisphenol A (BPA) exposure levels. Design The BEAM was designed by modifying an FFQ with questions targeting known sources of BPA exposure. Frequency of intake of known dietary sources of BPA was assessed using the BEAM and three 24 h food records as a reference diet measurement tool. Urinary BPA (uBPA) levels were measured as the criterion tool in a pooled urine sample (nine spot samples per participant). Spearman correlations, linear regression and weighted kappa analysis were used to evaluate the ability of the BEAM and food records to estimate BPA exposure levels. Setting Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN, USA. Subjects Sixty-eight healthy adult (20-59 years) volunteers. Results Dietary BPA intake assessed by the BEAM was not associated with uBPA levels and was unable to predict participants' rank by uBPA levels. BEAM models with all a priori predictors explained 25 % of the variability in uBPA levels. Canned food intake assessed by food records was associated with uBPA levels, but was unable to rank participants by uBPA levels. Multivariable-adjusted food record models with a priori predictors explained 41 % of the variability in uBPA levels. Conclusions Known dietary sources of BPA exposure explained less than half the variability in uBPA levels, regardless of diet assessment method. Findings suggest that a questionnaire approach may be insufficient for ranking BPA exposure level and additional important sources of BPA exposure likely exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-606
Number of pages14
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Lori Strayer for assistance during recruitment and data collection. This work was supported by grants from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (to K.R.) and a Hawley Award from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health for dissertation research (to S.O.N.). S.O.N. was additionally supported by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (grant number T32 CA13267; Principal Investigator: Dr Kristin Anderson). None. Authorship: All authors contributed to this manuscript. S.O.N. conceived of the study, was the primary designer of the evaluated questionnaire, performed data analysis and wrote the manuscript. L.H. and K.R. assisted in study design and were major contributors in questionnaire development, data analysis and manuscript preparation. Ethics of human subject participation: This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects were approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2015.


  • Bisphenol A
  • Bisphenol A exposure assessment
  • Diet
  • Questionnaire


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