The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has reviewed the evidence and wasn’t able to determine whether exposure to BPA does or does not cause cancer in humans. Find out more about how cancer-causing substances are classified.
Some research suggests that bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor. This means that it may mimic or disrupt hormones – in this case, estrogen. Being exposed to endocrine disruptors may lead to certain types of cancer.
Some research also suggests that being exposed to bisphenol A at levels much lower than what is currently thought to be safe can affect the health of laboratory animals. This research has not been done in people, and scientists do not know whether the results of the studies in laboratory animals apply to humans. Recent studies on laboratory animals exposed to very low doses of bisphenol A at a young age have shown that BPA exposure can:
- affect sperm production
- affect fertility
- cause persistent changes in mammary gland (breast tissue) development
- cause persistent changes in the prostate gland
These doses are at levels much lower than what was previously thought to be harmful. However, scientists disagree about the results of these studies and what the studies mean for humans. Though there is some research on bisphenol A in humans, it is very limited.
We do not know if exposure to bisphenol A increases your risk of cancer or can have other effects on your health.