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Chemical Safety Office
Evaluation and Licensing Division
Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare


Last updated date: March 30, 2015


 Advisory Committee





Bisphenol A

Reports, etc.

Related reports




Actions taken by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare - Overview

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Section 4: Epidemiological survey of exposure
4.1. Exposure of living bodies

  1. Concentrations of the following substances in biological samples (blood, urine, hair, etc.) were determined: bisphenol A, chlorobenzenes, p-hydroxybenzoates, phthalates, benzo[a]pyrene, PCBs, dioxins, chlordane, organotin compounds, 4-nonylphenol, halogenated hydrocarbon pesticides, organophosphate pesticides, organofluorine compounds, phytoestrogens, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds. (Different substances were studied by different researchers and in different samples.) All of these substances except chlordane were found in at least one of the samples, suggesting exposure in the environment.
  2. Metabolic studies revealed that bisphenol A in blood disappears quickly, and that phthalates are converted to mono- or diesters.
[Future tasks]
  1. Continuing studies of exposure to suspected endocrine disruptors through mother by analyses of samples from different positions of a single mother, including cord blood
  2. Studying the effects, metabolism and detoxification of the body burden of those substances
  3. Monitoring the environmental background in parallel to the analyses of biological samples for evaluation of exposure.
4.2. Epidemiology
Literature on epidemiological studies was reviewed.
  1. Epidemiological reports exist on the relationship of organochlorine compounds with the incidence of breast, ovary, prostate, testis, and thyroid cancer, but they do not provide sufficient evidence to establish the correlation.
  2. Some report suggest effects of exposure to high concentrations of PCB on the thyroid gland, but their reliability is questionable. No credible findings have been obtained on the effects of exposure to normal concentration levels of organochlorine compounds including PCBs.
  3. A significant increase of the risk by diethylstilbestrol (DES) of hypostadias was shown by a cohort study and of cryptorchid by an interventional study. Other effects on organ formation by DES are also reported but without sufficient evidence for establishing the correlation. Few epidemiologic studies were found on other chemical substances.
  4. Cohort studies on the effects of organochlorine compounds on the infant nerve development were reported for several areas. They are, however, not uniform in evaluation criteria for exposure, nerve development, and other influencing factors, as well as study periods, thus failing to provide sufficient evidence for the correlation.
  5. Several papers report decreases in sperm count in groups exposed to high concentration of chemical agents, which were, however, unable to establish the effect of endocrine disruptors because the possibility of testis toxicity was not excluded.
  6. As for the newly added review of effects on the immune system, the reports found were incongruent: PCB was reported in a report to increase the allergy risk of adults by exposure to high concentrations, while another report says that exposure of fetuses or infants to the environmental level of PCB decreases the allergy risk.
  7. Epidemiologic studies on the Japanese are still very scanty.
[Future tasks]
  1. Establishing subject groups representative of the Japanese and conduct monitoring for:
    • exposure to suspected endocrine disruptors, and
    • diseases possibly caused by endocrine disruptors
  2. Conducting epidemiologic studies (collection and use of biological samples) of a fairly large scale on the Japanese
  3. Continuing literature survey on the health effects of suspected endocrine disruptors and publishing the results

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