Epigenetic effects of environmental chemicals bisphenol a and phthalates

Sher Singh, Steven Shoei Lung Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Plastics are widely used in modern life, and their unbound chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates can leach out into the surrounding environment. BPA and phthalates have recently attracted the special attention of the scientific community, regulatory agencies and the general public because of their high production volume, widespread use of plastics, and adverse health effects [1]. BPA is now used in the production of polycarbonate plastic containers such as baby bottles and epoxy resins that line metal cans for food and beverages. BPA is also used as a plasticizer to soften and increase the flexibility of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic products. BPA has another medical use in dental sealants and composites used for filling. It is thought that human exposure mainly occurs through food and drink. However, exposure may also occur through dermal contact with thermal paper, used widely in cash register receipts. Phthalates are a group of similar diesters of phthalic acid used as plasticizers to soften and increase the flexibility of PVC plastics [2]. Human exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through foods, because of their uses in wrapping materials and food processing [3]. When ingested through food contamination, diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is converted by intestinal lipases to mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), which is then preferentially absorbed. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used as a component of latex adhesives. It is also used in cosmetics and other personal care products, as a plasticizer in cellulose plastics, and as a solvent for dyes [4]. Monobutyl phthalate (MBP) is the toxic metabolite of DBP and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEpigenetics and Pathology
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Connections between Genetic Mechanisms and Disease Expression
PublisherApple Academic Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781482224825
ISBN (Print)9781926895789
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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