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Preplanned Studies: Exposure to Bisphenolic Analogues in the Sixth Total Diet Study — China, 2016–2019

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  • Summary

    What is already known about this topic?

    Bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenolic compounds (BPs) are proved to pose potential endocrine disrupting properties. The primary source of BP exposure is the diet. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established a temporary tolerable daily intake (t-TDI) of BPA 4 μg/kg body weight per day.

    What is added by this report?

    BPs were detected in composite food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (TDS) at percentages of 27.1%–78.5%. The estimated dietary exposure of BPA and bisphenol S (BPS) for an average adult were 18.1 ng/kg body weight per day and 22.2 ng/kg body weight per day, respectively. The main dietary contributors for BPs were cereals, water and beverage, meat as well as vegetables.

    What are the implications for public health practices?

    BP dietary intake poses low risks on the Chinese general population based on the t-TDI set by EFSA. BPS presented a higher exposure level than BPA, which highlights the need to strengthen the surveillance of BP alternatives in foodstuffs.

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  • Funding: Supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant number 2017YFC1600500) and CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Science (CIFMS 2019-I2M-5-024)
  • [1] Almeida S, Raposo A, Almeida-González M, Carrascosa C. Bisphenol A: food exposure and impact on human health. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 2018;17(6):1503 − 17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1541-4337.12388CrossRef
    [2] EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavouring and Processing Aids (CEF). Scientific opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs. EFSA J 2015;13(1):3978. http://dx.doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.3978CrossRef
    [3] Chen D, Kannan K, Tan HL, Zheng ZG, Feng YL, Wu Y, et al. Bisphenol analogues other than BPA: environmental occurrence, human exposure, and toxicity-a review. Environ Sci Technol 2016;50(11):5438 − 53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b05387CrossRef
    [4] Wan YJ, Huo WQ, Xu SQ, Zheng TZ, Zhang B, Li YY, et al. Relationship between maternal exposure to bisphenol S and pregnancy duration. Environ Pollut 2018;238:717 − 24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.03.057CrossRef
    [5] Geens T, Goeyens L, Covaci A. Are potential sources for human exposure to bisphenol-A overlooked[J]? Int J Hyg Environ Health 2011;214(5):339-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2011.04.005.
    [6] Cao XL, Perez-Locas C, Dufresne G, Clement G, Popovic S, Beraldin F, et al. Concentrations of bisphenol A in the composite food samples from the 2008 Canadian total diet study in Quebec City and dietary intake estimates. Food Addit Contam: Part A 2011;28(6):791 − 8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19440049.2010.513015CrossRef
    [7] Niu YM, Zhang J, Duan HJ, Wu YN, Shao B. Bisphenol A and nonylphenol in foodstuffs: Chinese dietary exposure from the 2007 total diet study and infant health risk from formulas. Food Chem 2015;167:320 − 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.115CrossRef
    [8] Yao K, Zhang J, Yin J, Zhao YF, Shen JZ, Jiang HY, et al. Bisphenol A and its analogues in Chinese Total Diets: contaminated levels and risk assessment. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2020;2020:8822321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8822321CrossRef
    [9] Lyu B, Li JG, Wu YN. Characterizing the exposome of food safety risk assessment in China. China CDC Wkly 2022;4(9):157 − 60. http://dx.doi.org/10.46234/ccdcw2022.039CrossRef
    [10] Cao XL, Kosarac I, Popovic S, Zhou S, Smith D, Dabeka R. LC-MS/MS analysis of bisphenol S and five other bisphenols in total diet food samples. Food Addit Contam: Part A 2019;36(11):1740 − 7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19440049.2019.1643042CrossRef
    [11] Liao CY, Kannan K. Concentrations and profiles of bisphenol A and other bisphenol analogues in foodstuffs from the United States and their implications for human exposure. J Agric Food Chem 2013;61(19):4655 − 62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf400445nCrossRef
    [12] Traoré T, Béchaux C, Sirot V, Crépet A. To which chemical mixtures is the French population exposed? Mixture identification from the second French Total Diet Study. Food Chem Toxicol 2016;98:179 − 88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2016.10.028CrossRef
    [13] Morgan MK, Clifton MS. Dietary exposures and intake doses to bisphenol A and triclosan in 188 duplicate-single solid food items consumed by US adults. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021;18(8):4387. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084387CrossRef
  • FIGURE 1.  EDI of BPA, BPS, BPF, and BPAF among sampling PLADs from the Sixth TDS.

    Abbreviations: BPs=bisphenolic compounds; EDI=estimated daily intakes; BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF; PLADs=provincial-level administrative divisions; TDS=Total Diet Study.

    FIGURE 2.  Contribution (% of daily intake) of the food categories to dietary BP intakes for the general Chinese population.

    Abbreviation: BP=bisphenolic compound; BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF.

    TABLE 1.  Occurrence of BPA and its analogues in different composite Total Diet Study samples.

    CategoryParameterBPABPSBPFBPAF
    CerealsMean (μg/kg)0.4660.5450.0070.012
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2560.128NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.44ND to 6.40ND to 0.169ND to 0.129
    Detective rate (%)91.783.34.229.2
    Legumes and nutsMean (μg/kg)0.4840.9840.146ND
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2550.707NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 3.39ND to 4.23ND to1.06ND
    Detective rate (%)87.591.737.50
    PotatoesMean (μg/kg)0.3400.1630.0080.006
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2710.147NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.35ND to 0.648ND to 0.186ND to 0.029
    Detective rate (%)95.891.74.229.2
    MeatsMean (μg/kg)1.0245.8270.1060.026
    Medium (μg/kg)0.4762.010NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 5.82ND to 67.1ND to 0.279ND to 0.530
    Detective rate (%)95.891.720.825
    EggsMean (μg/kg)0.1800.130ND0.021
    Medium (μg/kg)0.1690.042ND0.013
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 0.544ND to 0.636NDND to 0.061
    Detective rate (%)54.287.5050
    Aquatic foodsMean (μg/kg)0.9271.250.0150.125
    Medium (μg/kg)0.6890.621ND0.024
    Range (μg/kg)0.199 to 3.31ND to 6.34ND to 0.192ND to 1.75
    Detective rate (%)10095.88.379.2
    MilkMean (μg/kg)0.1290.022ND0.002
    Medium (μg/kg)ND0.008NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to <0.385ND to 0.148NDND to 0.026
    Detective rate (%)41.729.2012.5
    VegetablesMean (μg/kg)0.3470.3430.0150.010
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2930.127NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.090.020 to 1.81ND to 0.190ND to 0.041
    Detective rate (%)95.81008.337.5
    FruitsMean (μg/kg)1.680.3150.0320.023
    Medium (μg/kg)0.4180.111NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 20.00.026 to 1.71ND to 0.449ND to 0.175
    Detective rate (%)91.710012.541.7
    SugarMean (μg/kg)0.9090.0340.0110.006
    Medium (μg/kg)0.6020.021NDND
    Range (μg/kg)0.197 to 3.26ND to 0.114ND to 0.260ND to 0.043
    Detective rate (%)91.770.84.220.8
    Beverages and waterMean (μg/kg)0.2340.058NDND
    Medium (μg/kg)ND0.013NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.57ND to 0.612NDND
    Detective rate (%)20.850.000
    Alcoholic beveragesMean (μg/kg)0.1610.081NDND
    Medium (μg/kg)ND0.012NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 0.610ND to 1.54NDND
    Detective rate (%)37.55000
    TotalMean (μg/kg)0.5461.170.0230.019
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2510.055NDND
    Detective rate (%)75.378.58.3327.1
    Abbreviations: BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF; LOD=limits of detection; ND=non-detected value.
    Download: CSV

    TABLE S1.  Levels of BPA in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

    Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
    Cereals0.2561.4450.1561.341NDa0.2030.8740.9750.2950.2970.3620.1690.2740.2360.1670.2730.1620.1840.178ND0.2561.4450.1561.341
    LegumesND0.2030.8740.9750.2950.2970.3620.1690.2740.2360.1670.2730.1620.1840.178ND0.207ND3.3890.5081.1660.5630.1850.723
    Potatoes0.2930.404ND0.2190.6980.2390.1870.6360.2120.1851.3520.2710.2710.2740.2770.2220.2060.2330.290.2940.2490.4740.2150.393
    Meat0.2135.8150.3830.3560.4531.1040.1751.7370.2280.7843.6291.6650.9260.249ND0.9041.0280.1840.2630.4730.8490.4800.3862.209
    Eggs0.2070.5440.453NDNDND0.314NDNDNDND0.2460.286ND0.2090.178NDND0.2510.177ND0.2530.1610.218
    Aquatic foods0.1993.3100.7700.6290.2682.4080.1991.2990.2750.9422.4860.3260.6240.6890.7240.6461.2231.3360.4860.2980.8440.6390.6890.928
    Milk0.1810.2350.199ND0.025NDNDNDNDNDNDND0.153NDNDNDNDNDND0.1680.3850.2150.2360.249
    Vegetables0.1530.2010.1670.453ND0.2841.0880.3470.190.4780.2310.2430.190.2960.2850.3030.5750.2910.1930.3260.3110.3360.3870.936
    Fruits0.4320.2470.6060.4680.2611.4980.221.0562.6010.383ND1.4280.4050.2600.17620.0010.1540.5450.4810.2457.9330.180.542ND
    Sugars1.6480.6542.0340.5200.7800.530ND0.7840.1973.2561.0661.5160.2520.5430.387ND0.6691.5110.3382.6990.8450.5490.3570.538
    Water and beveragesND0.168NDNDNDNDND1.5691.534NDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.161NDNDNDND0.763ND
    Alcoholic beverages0.2090.188NDND0.174NDND0.4030.3560.610NDNDNDNDND0.478NDND0.159NDNDNDND0.17
    Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 1/2 LOD in calculations.
    Abbrreviations: HL=Heilongjiang; LN=Liaoning; HE=Hebei; BJ=Beijing; JL=Jilin; SX=Shanxi; SN=Shaanxi; HA=Henan; NX=Ningxia; NM=Inner Mongolia; QH=Qinghai; GS=Gansu; SH=Shanghai; FJ=Fujian; JX=Jiangxi; JS=Jiangsu; ZJ=Zhejiang; SD=Shandong; HB=Hubei; SC=Sichuan; GX=Gugangxi; HN=Hunan; GD=Guangdong; GZ=Guizhou; (the same below).
    Download: CSV

    TABLE S2.  Levels of BPS in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

    Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
    Cereals0.1290.3161.9830.068ND0.6750.0330.3880.1691.2690.1280.1520.0600.4950.026.4030.4010.2410.059NDND0.032ND0.021
    Legumes1.2131.4081.0450.0310.0250.0741.1690.1602.5431.6390.0210.4660.3043.145ND0.9480.1611.0681.8204.2280.142ND1.9070.076
    Potatoes0.1060.2430.1610.029ND0.1450.1560.4650.0360.6480.0240.1830.0580.1220.1360.2650.2580.1160.1480.027ND0.2010.1540.208
    Meat0.2038.6386.669NDND2.1824.76816.5870.3782.0440.1200.10011.21567.0930.0396.2913.6482.4814.0710.2290.1040.8460.1411.976
    Eggs0.0730.0440.6190.3140.0250.029ND0.0370.2140.0210.0410.0670.6360.2230.2300.1090.0210.1480.019NDND0.0740.0280.022
    Aquatic foods2.1590.5986.3440.7430.0911.9211.5012.6220.0260.7571.5060.1314.5863.1270.0230.5090.0870.6441.6210.3690.0340.427ND0.159
    Milk0.148NDNDNDNDND0.052ND0.0280.0380.0550.040NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.033NDND
    Vegetables0.0730.9680.1730.0560.020.2230.4830.2010.7941.8070.0330.0360.0930.6080.0221.1560.8690.1060.1480.1290.020.0290.0720.124
    Fruits0.0711.5980.5340.0530.0480.1220.4650.5230.1001.7140.0320.1710.1690.3290.0990.3470.0580.2560.6240.0300.1000.0390.0260.050
    Sugars0.1140.0290.0690.0220.0190.0210.0210.0210.0160.1030.02NDNDNDNDND0.0280.0550.0190.0580.106NDND0.036
    Water and beveragesND0.6120.0750.054NDND0.027NDND0.0260.0590.0190.2680.0180.020.099NDNDNDND0.028NDNDND
    Alcoholic beverages0.0160.0290.0180.019NDND0.0190.020.083NDND1.537NDNDNDNDND0.0180.029ND0.024ND0.030ND
    Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 1/2 LOD in calculations.
    Download: CSV

    TABLE S3.  Levels of BPF in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

    Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
    CerealsNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.169
    LegumesND0.184ND0.163ND0.4440.383NDNDNDND0.624NDNDND0.288ND0.163ND0.1921.064NDNDND
    PotatoesNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.186NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    MeatNDNDND0.261NDNDNDND0.2050.279NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.1680.209NDND
    EggsNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Aquatic foods0.169NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.192ND
    MilkNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    VegetablesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.16NDNDNDNDNDND0.190NDNDND
    Fruits0.169ND0.156NDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.449NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Sugars0.26NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Water and beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Alcoholic beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 0 in calculations.
    Download: CSV

    TABLE S4.  Levels of BPAF in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

    Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
    CerealsNDNDND0.026NDNDND0.015NDNDNDND0.1290.040NDNDNDND0.020.015NDND0.051ND
    LegumesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    PotatoesND0.0240.029NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.0160.0190.0180.018NDNDNDNDND0.018ND
    MeatND0.530ND0.019NDNDNDNDNDND0.0240.018ND0.015NDND0.021NDNDNDNDNDNDND
    EggsNDND0.0300.0380.017NDNDNDNDNDND0.0250.020.0200.019NDND0.0170.2NDND0.0290.0610.02
    Aquatic foodsND0.0250.020.027ND0.0150.017NDND0.0160.0190.0250.0530.0170.026ND0.0260.0440.7960.0290.0291.7510.0220.025
    MilkNDND0.015NDNDND0.026NDNDND0.016NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Vegetables0.0410.036ND0.0240.0230.018NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.020.026ND0.029NDND0.023ND
    Fruits0.021NDND0.021ND0.018ND0.015NDND0.0180.092NDNDNDND0.0250.0520.1750.108NDNDNDND
    Sugars0.036ND0.02NDNDNDNDNDND0.043NDNDNDNDNDNDND0.021ND0.02NDNDNDND
    Water and beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Alcoholic beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
    Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 0 in calculations.
    Download: CSV

    TABLE S5.  Estimated BPA and its analogues exposures in three Total Diet Studys (ng/kg body weight per day).

    CompoundThe Fourth TDS 2007The Fifth TDS 2010−2012The Sixth TDS (this study) 2016−2019
    BPA4321718.1
    BPS25.622.2
    BPF25.10.485
    BPAF0.4990.384
    Note: “−” means not detected.
    Abbrreviations: BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF; TDS=Total Diet Studys.
    Download: CSV

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Exposure to Bisphenolic Analogues in the Sixth Total Diet Study — China, 2016–2019

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Summary

What is already known about this topic?

Bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenolic compounds (BPs) are proved to pose potential endocrine disrupting properties. The primary source of BP exposure is the diet. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established a temporary tolerable daily intake (t-TDI) of BPA 4 μg/kg body weight per day.

What is added by this report?

BPs were detected in composite food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (TDS) at percentages of 27.1%–78.5%. The estimated dietary exposure of BPA and bisphenol S (BPS) for an average adult were 18.1 ng/kg body weight per day and 22.2 ng/kg body weight per day, respectively. The main dietary contributors for BPs were cereals, water and beverage, meat as well as vegetables.

What are the implications for public health practices?

BP dietary intake poses low risks on the Chinese general population based on the t-TDI set by EFSA. BPS presented a higher exposure level than BPA, which highlights the need to strengthen the surveillance of BP alternatives in foodstuffs.

  • 1. Beijing Key Laboratory of Diagnostic and Traceability Technologies for Food Poisoning, Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Beijing, China
  • 2. NHC Key Laboratory of Food Safety Risk Assessment, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Beijing, China
  • Corresponding authors:

    Bing Shao, shaobingch@sina.com

    Yongning Wu, wuyongning@cfsa.net.cn

  • Funding: Supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant number 2017YFC1600500) and CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Science (CIFMS 2019-I2M-5-024)
  • Online Date: March 04 2022
    Issue Date: March 04 2022
    doi: 10.46234/ccdcw2022.044
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the synthesis of commercial plastics, including polycarbonates and epoxy resins, which are incorporated into a wide variety of consumer goods. Exposure to BPA was suspected to result in a variety of toxicities in the neurological, reproductive, metabolic, and immune system (1). Considering these potential undesirable effects, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established a temporary tolerable daily intake (t-TDI) of 4 μg/kg body weight per day (2).

    Abiding by the regulations on the production and restricted use of BPA in European Union, United States, China, and other countries, BPA in commercial products was gradually replaced by its analogues, such as bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol B (BPB), and bisphenol AF (BPAF). After being put into use, these bisphenolic compounds (BPs) were released into the environment and entered the food chain. A variety of foods (cereals, fruits, meats etc.) were found to contain BPS and other analogues. Studies have shown that the genotoxicity and estrogenic activity of these alternatives are like that of BPA (3-4).

    The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through the diet from contaminated foodstuffs (5). Dietary exposure of BPA from the Canadian Total Diet Study (TDS) was evaluated in view of BPs in composite food samples (6). In China, BPA from the Fourth China TDS (2007) samples as well as BPA and several analogues from the Fifth China TDS (2010–2012) were analyzed and the estimated daily intakes (EDI) of these BPs were safe for general people (7-8). However, in past decades, China’s sustained development and progress have affected the lives of every resident. Under this circumstance, food consumption and contamination levels might have changed remarkably since China’s restriction of BPA in baby products and food contact materials implemented since 2011. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Chinese daily exposure to BPs from the Sixth TDS (2016–2019) (9).

    Levels of BPs in the Sixth China TDS were provided in Supplementary Tables S1–S4 and summarized in Table 1, where BPA was detected in 216 out of total 288 samples, with a concentration range of non-detected value (ND) to 20.0 µg/kg, among which the highest level occurred in cereals from Jiangsu Province. The mean concentrations of BPA from food categories ranged from 0.129 µg/kg (milk)–1.02 µg/kg (meat). BPS presented a rate of detection of 78.5%, accounting for 226 samples. The maximum level 67.1 µg/kg was attributed to a sample of meats from Fujian Province. While the second largest value is 16.6 μg/kg from a meat sample in Henan Province. BPF and BPAF were found in 8.33% and 27.1% of samples, with the maximum concentrations of 1.06 μg/kg and 1.75 μg/kg, respectively.

    CategoryParameterBPABPSBPFBPAF
    CerealsMean (μg/kg)0.4660.5450.0070.012
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2560.128NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.44ND to 6.40ND to 0.169ND to 0.129
    Detective rate (%)91.783.34.229.2
    Legumes and nutsMean (μg/kg)0.4840.9840.146ND
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2550.707NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 3.39ND to 4.23ND to1.06ND
    Detective rate (%)87.591.737.50
    PotatoesMean (μg/kg)0.3400.1630.0080.006
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2710.147NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.35ND to 0.648ND to 0.186ND to 0.029
    Detective rate (%)95.891.74.229.2
    MeatsMean (μg/kg)1.0245.8270.1060.026
    Medium (μg/kg)0.4762.010NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 5.82ND to 67.1ND to 0.279ND to 0.530
    Detective rate (%)95.891.720.825
    EggsMean (μg/kg)0.1800.130ND0.021
    Medium (μg/kg)0.1690.042ND0.013
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 0.544ND to 0.636NDND to 0.061
    Detective rate (%)54.287.5050
    Aquatic foodsMean (μg/kg)0.9271.250.0150.125
    Medium (μg/kg)0.6890.621ND0.024
    Range (μg/kg)0.199 to 3.31ND to 6.34ND to 0.192ND to 1.75
    Detective rate (%)10095.88.379.2
    MilkMean (μg/kg)0.1290.022ND0.002
    Medium (μg/kg)ND0.008NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to <0.385ND to 0.148NDND to 0.026
    Detective rate (%)41.729.2012.5
    VegetablesMean (μg/kg)0.3470.3430.0150.010
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2930.127NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.090.020 to 1.81ND to 0.190ND to 0.041
    Detective rate (%)95.81008.337.5
    FruitsMean (μg/kg)1.680.3150.0320.023
    Medium (μg/kg)0.4180.111NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 20.00.026 to 1.71ND to 0.449ND to 0.175
    Detective rate (%)91.710012.541.7
    SugarMean (μg/kg)0.9090.0340.0110.006
    Medium (μg/kg)0.6020.021NDND
    Range (μg/kg)0.197 to 3.26ND to 0.114ND to 0.260ND to 0.043
    Detective rate (%)91.770.84.220.8
    Beverages and waterMean (μg/kg)0.2340.058NDND
    Medium (μg/kg)ND0.013NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 1.57ND to 0.612NDND
    Detective rate (%)20.850.000
    Alcoholic beveragesMean (μg/kg)0.1610.081NDND
    Medium (μg/kg)ND0.012NDND
    Range (μg/kg)ND to 0.610ND to 1.54NDND
    Detective rate (%)37.55000
    TotalMean (μg/kg)0.5461.170.0230.019
    Medium (μg/kg)0.2510.055NDND
    Detective rate (%)75.378.58.3327.1
    Abbreviations: BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF; LOD=limits of detection; ND=non-detected value.

    Table 1.  Occurrence of BPA and its analogues in different composite Total Diet Study samples.

    The EDIs of BPA, BPS, BPF, and BPAF for an average male adult are given in Figure 1. For BPA, the highest exposure was found in Henan (56.9 ng/kg body weight per day), while the lowest was found in Jilin (5.74 ng/kg body weight per day). Mean exposure to BPA was estimated to be 18.1 ng/kg body weight per day, significantly below the t-TDI (4 μg/kg body weight per day) recommended by the EFSA (2). The EDI of BPS in the Sixth TDS for an average Chinese male adult was 22.2 ng/kg body weight per day. Jiangsu (120 ng/kg body weight per day) and Fujian (114 ng/kg body weight per day) posed the two highest exposures in this TDS; while the exposure in Jilin residents (0.559 ng/kg body weight per day) was the lowest. BPF and BPAF presented dietary exposures of 0.485 ng/kg body weight per day and 0.384 ng/kg body weight per day, respectively.

    Figure 1. 

    EDI of BPA, BPS, BPF, and BPAF among sampling PLADs from the Sixth TDS.

    Abbreviations: BPs=bisphenolic compounds; EDI=estimated daily intakes; BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF; PLADs=provincial-level administrative divisions; TDS=Total Diet Study.

    The contributions of different food categories to total EDI of BPs are shown in Figure 2. The main dietary contributors for BPA were cereals (40.3%), water and beverage (17.4%) as well as vegetables (13.7%). As for BPS, the dominant contribution food groups were cereals (31.4%), followed by meats (25.4%), legumes (11.7%), vegetables (11.7%) and water and beverages (8.76%). Legumes (41.2%), meats (20.7%), and fruits (11.7%) were the top three contributors of BPF. Exposure to BPAF was mainly from cereals (22.6%), aquatic foods (21.5%) and vegetables (21.2%).

    Figure 2. 

    Contribution (% of daily intake) of the food categories to dietary BP intakes for the general Chinese population.

    Abbreviation: BP=bisphenolic compound; BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF.
    • In the Sixth China TDS, BPS posed a comparable rate of detection as BPA, demonstrating the wide use of BPS. Compared to BPA and BPS, BPF and BPAF appeared to possess evidently lower rates of detection and detection levels. Similar trends were found in the Fifth China TDS (8) and several other reports (1011).

      Considering the similar endocrine disrupting properties and other toxicological effects of BPs, the exposure levels of BPA, BPS, BPF, and BPAF were summed up to assess the risks through dietary intake. The combined exposure levels (6.45–139 ng/kg body weight per day, Figure 1) were far below the t-TDI of BPA set by EFSA, which implied that the exposure to BPs for Chinese adults was safe.

      BPs were concerning in the past three China TDSs (Supplementary Table S5). The BPA exposures in the Fourth and Fifth TDS were 43.0 ng/kg body weight per day (7 and 217 ng/kg body weight per day (8), respectively. The increase of BPA exposure might be attributed to the feverish growth of China’s BPA consumption from 2000 to 2014. The exposure to BPA in this study was significantly less than that in the Fifth TDS, which may be related to the measures and restrictions of BPA use in China. The exposures to BPS, BPF, and BPAF in the Sixth TDS were also lower than that in the Fifth one.

      The most remarkable change was that the exposure to BPS exceeded BPA and became the most dominant BP in the Sixth TDS. In Fujian and Jiangsu, the only two provincial-level administrative divisions (PLADs) where BPs intakes were higher than 100 ng/kg body weight per day, BPS contributed more than 80% of the total BP exposure due to the high levels of BPS in meat from Fujian and cereals from Jiangsu.

      It is noteworthy that Jilin implemented the “Restriction on Plastic Bags” from January 1, 2015, stipulating that the production and sale of non-degradable plastic shopping bags and plastic tableware were prohibited throughout the province. It has become China’s first PLAD to fully ban “plastics”. The EDIs of BPA and BPS in Jilin in this study were 5.74 ng/kg body weight per day and 0.559 ng/kg body weight per day, respectively, ranking lowest among the 24 PLADs. These values were lower by more than an order of magnitude than the results in the Fifth TDS (300 ng/kg body weight per day for BPA and 11.7 ng/kg body weight per day for BPS, respectively), indicating that the implementation of the restrictions affected the reduction of BPs contaminants.

      The total dietary exposure to BPA in the Sixth China TDS (18.13 ng/kg body weight per day) was lower than that in France (42.4 ng/kg body weight per day) (12), Canada (52–81 ng/kg body weight per day) (6), the United States (44.6 ng/kg body weight per day) (11), and the EFSA (116–159 ng/kg body weight per day) (2). However, it was higher than that of a recent survey in United States (6.0 ng/kg body weight per day) (13). The diversity in food consumption habits may be a potential reason for the relatively high BPA exposure to these Western countries.

      This study has several limitations. Only composite samples were analyzed for the dietary intake assessment of population in a given region, which could reveal realistic information by virtue of appropriate selection of the composite sample size and retesting of select individual samples. As for the samples with extremely high levels of contamination, the original individual samples can be assessed instead. The estimated BPs intake was based on a standard Chinese male adult (18–45 years). There was a lack of the dietary exposure data of 0–18 years-old people in this study. Furthermore, young-aged people and pregnant women are prone to be vulnerable to the endocrine disrupting compounds. The chlorinated derivatives of BPA and BPS reported higher estrogenic activity and other potential toxicities. It is necessary to continuously monitor the dietary exposure of the various BPs, including the chlorinated derivatives.

      This study investigated the contamination of BPs in composite food samples from the Sixth China TDS during 2016–2019. BPA and BPS were detected in more than 75% of the food samples. Dietary intakes of BPs for Chinese adults were below the t-TDI, and the major contribution was from cereals, water and beverages, meat, and vegetables. The exposure of BPS in the Sixth TDS exceeded that of BPA. This implies the need to strengthen the monitoring of BPs in foodstuffs.

    • No conflicts of interest.

      Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
      Cereals0.2561.4450.1561.341NDa0.2030.8740.9750.2950.2970.3620.1690.2740.2360.1670.2730.1620.1840.178ND0.2561.4450.1561.341
      LegumesND0.2030.8740.9750.2950.2970.3620.1690.2740.2360.1670.2730.1620.1840.178ND0.207ND3.3890.5081.1660.5630.1850.723
      Potatoes0.2930.404ND0.2190.6980.2390.1870.6360.2120.1851.3520.2710.2710.2740.2770.2220.2060.2330.290.2940.2490.4740.2150.393
      Meat0.2135.8150.3830.3560.4531.1040.1751.7370.2280.7843.6291.6650.9260.249ND0.9041.0280.1840.2630.4730.8490.4800.3862.209
      Eggs0.2070.5440.453NDNDND0.314NDNDNDND0.2460.286ND0.2090.178NDND0.2510.177ND0.2530.1610.218
      Aquatic foods0.1993.3100.7700.6290.2682.4080.1991.2990.2750.9422.4860.3260.6240.6890.7240.6461.2231.3360.4860.2980.8440.6390.6890.928
      Milk0.1810.2350.199ND0.025NDNDNDNDNDNDND0.153NDNDNDNDNDND0.1680.3850.2150.2360.249
      Vegetables0.1530.2010.1670.453ND0.2841.0880.3470.190.4780.2310.2430.190.2960.2850.3030.5750.2910.1930.3260.3110.3360.3870.936
      Fruits0.4320.2470.6060.4680.2611.4980.221.0562.6010.383ND1.4280.4050.2600.17620.0010.1540.5450.4810.2457.9330.180.542ND
      Sugars1.6480.6542.0340.5200.7800.530ND0.7840.1973.2561.0661.5160.2520.5430.387ND0.6691.5110.3382.6990.8450.5490.3570.538
      Water and beveragesND0.168NDNDNDNDND1.5691.534NDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.161NDNDNDND0.763ND
      Alcoholic beverages0.2090.188NDND0.174NDND0.4030.3560.610NDNDNDNDND0.478NDND0.159NDNDNDND0.17
      Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 1/2 LOD in calculations.
      Abbrreviations: HL=Heilongjiang; LN=Liaoning; HE=Hebei; BJ=Beijing; JL=Jilin; SX=Shanxi; SN=Shaanxi; HA=Henan; NX=Ningxia; NM=Inner Mongolia; QH=Qinghai; GS=Gansu; SH=Shanghai; FJ=Fujian; JX=Jiangxi; JS=Jiangsu; ZJ=Zhejiang; SD=Shandong; HB=Hubei; SC=Sichuan; GX=Gugangxi; HN=Hunan; GD=Guangdong; GZ=Guizhou; (the same below).

      Table S1.  Levels of BPA in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

      Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
      Cereals0.1290.3161.9830.068ND0.6750.0330.3880.1691.2690.1280.1520.0600.4950.026.4030.4010.2410.059NDND0.032ND0.021
      Legumes1.2131.4081.0450.0310.0250.0741.1690.1602.5431.6390.0210.4660.3043.145ND0.9480.1611.0681.8204.2280.142ND1.9070.076
      Potatoes0.1060.2430.1610.029ND0.1450.1560.4650.0360.6480.0240.1830.0580.1220.1360.2650.2580.1160.1480.027ND0.2010.1540.208
      Meat0.2038.6386.669NDND2.1824.76816.5870.3782.0440.1200.10011.21567.0930.0396.2913.6482.4814.0710.2290.1040.8460.1411.976
      Eggs0.0730.0440.6190.3140.0250.029ND0.0370.2140.0210.0410.0670.6360.2230.2300.1090.0210.1480.019NDND0.0740.0280.022
      Aquatic foods2.1590.5986.3440.7430.0911.9211.5012.6220.0260.7571.5060.1314.5863.1270.0230.5090.0870.6441.6210.3690.0340.427ND0.159
      Milk0.148NDNDNDNDND0.052ND0.0280.0380.0550.040NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.033NDND
      Vegetables0.0730.9680.1730.0560.020.2230.4830.2010.7941.8070.0330.0360.0930.6080.0221.1560.8690.1060.1480.1290.020.0290.0720.124
      Fruits0.0711.5980.5340.0530.0480.1220.4650.5230.1001.7140.0320.1710.1690.3290.0990.3470.0580.2560.6240.0300.1000.0390.0260.050
      Sugars0.1140.0290.0690.0220.0190.0210.0210.0210.0160.1030.02NDNDNDNDND0.0280.0550.0190.0580.106NDND0.036
      Water and beveragesND0.6120.0750.054NDND0.027NDND0.0260.0590.0190.2680.0180.020.099NDNDNDND0.028NDNDND
      Alcoholic beverages0.0160.0290.0180.019NDND0.0190.020.083NDND1.537NDNDNDNDND0.0180.029ND0.024ND0.030ND
      Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 1/2 LOD in calculations.

      Table S2.  Levels of BPS in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

      Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
      CerealsNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.169
      LegumesND0.184ND0.163ND0.4440.383NDNDNDND0.624NDNDND0.288ND0.163ND0.1921.064NDNDND
      PotatoesNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.186NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      MeatNDNDND0.261NDNDNDND0.2050.279NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.1680.209NDND
      EggsNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Aquatic foods0.169NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.192ND
      MilkNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      VegetablesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.16NDNDNDNDNDND0.190NDNDND
      Fruits0.169ND0.156NDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.449NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Sugars0.26NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Water and beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Alcoholic beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 0 in calculations.

      Table S3.  Levels of BPF in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

      Food categoriesHLLNHEBJJLSXSNHANXNMQHGSSHFJJXJSZJSDHBSCGXHNGDGZ
      CerealsNDNDND0.026NDNDND0.015NDNDNDND0.1290.040NDNDNDND0.020.015NDND0.051ND
      LegumesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      PotatoesND0.0240.029NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.0160.0190.0180.018NDNDNDNDND0.018ND
      MeatND0.530ND0.019NDNDNDNDNDND0.0240.018ND0.015NDND0.021NDNDNDNDNDNDND
      EggsNDND0.0300.0380.017NDNDNDNDNDND0.0250.020.0200.019NDND0.0170.2NDND0.0290.0610.02
      Aquatic foodsND0.0250.020.027ND0.0150.017NDND0.0160.0190.0250.0530.0170.026ND0.0260.0440.7960.0290.0291.7510.0220.025
      MilkNDND0.015NDNDND0.026NDNDND0.016NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Vegetables0.0410.036ND0.0240.0230.018NDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND0.020.026ND0.029NDND0.023ND
      Fruits0.021NDND0.021ND0.018ND0.015NDND0.0180.092NDNDNDND0.0250.0520.1750.108NDNDNDND
      Sugars0.036ND0.02NDNDNDNDNDND0.043NDNDNDNDNDNDND0.021ND0.02NDNDNDND
      Water and beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Alcoholic beveragesNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDNDND
      Note: ND: non-detected value, assigned 0 in calculations.

      Table S4.  Levels of BPAF in composites food samples from the Sixth China Total Diet Study (µg/kg).

      CompoundThe Fourth TDS 2007The Fifth TDS 2010−2012The Sixth TDS (this study) 2016−2019
      BPA4321718.1
      BPS25.622.2
      BPF25.10.485
      BPAF0.4990.384
      Note: “−” means not detected.
      Abbrreviations: BPA=bisphenol A; BPS=bisphenol S; BPF=bisphenol F; BPAF=bisphenol AF; TDS=Total Diet Studys.

      Table S5.  Estimated BPA and its analogues exposures in three Total Diet Studys (ng/kg body weight per day).

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