Thousands of anthropogenic chemicals are present in the environment, and mounting evidence indicates that some have endocrine-disrupting effects in a variety of organisms. Of particular concern are chemicals that act as agonists or antagonists on vertebrate estrogen or androgen receptors. One such compound is bisphenol A (BPA), which appears to be both an estrogen receptor agonist and an androgen receptor antagonist. Used in the manufacture of plastic resins, BPA is found at low levels in surface-water, sediments, soils, and biota. Although it degrades quickly, it is pseudo-persistent in the environment because of continual inputs. Due to its environmental ubiquity, organisms may be exposed to BPA chronically or during sensitive life stages. While the impacts of BPA-related endocrine disruption in humans have been extensively studied, the endocrinal and systemic effects in wildlife are less well known. This article reviews the current state of knowledge of BPA inputs to the environment, routes of exposure, and effects on wildlife. We then critically examine the regulatory structure governing the environmental endpoints of BPA in the United States, European Union, and Canada, and discuss major challenges to the effective regulation of BPA. We conclude with a survey of treatment and mitigation options.
- Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)
- Endocrine disruptors
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)