Probabilistic modeling of school meals for potential bisphenol A (BPA) exposure
Many endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including bisphenol A (BPA), are approved for use in food packaging, with unbound BPA migrating into the foods it contacts. Children, with their developing organ systems, are especially susceptible to hormone disruption, prompting this research to model the potential dose of BPA from school-provided meals. Probabilistic exposure models for school meals were informed by mixed methods. Exposure scenarios were based on United States school nutrition guidelines and included meals with varying levels of exposure potential from canned and packaged food. BPA exposure potentials were modeled with a range of 0.00049 μg/kg-BW/day for a middle school student with a low exposure breakfast and plate waste to 1.19 μg/kg-BW/day for an elementary school student eating lunch with high exposure potential. The modeled BPA doses from school meals are below the current US EPA Oral Reference Dose (RfD) of 50 μg/kg-BW/day. Recent research shows BPA animal toxicity thresholds at 2 μg/kg-BW/day. The single meal doses modeled in this research are at the same order of magnitude as the low-dose toxicity thresholds, illustrating the potential for school meals to expose children to chronic toxic levels of BPA.