Exposure to bisphenols and asthma morbidity among low-income urban children with asthma

Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, Nadia N. Hansel, Meredith McCormack, Antonia M. Calafat, Xiaoyun Ye, Roger D. Peng, Elizabeth C. Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked with pediatric asthma development and allergic airway inflammation in animal models. Whether exposure to BPA or its structural analogs bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF) is associated with asthma morbidity remains unknown. Objective: We examined associations between bisphenols and morbidity due to pediatric asthma. Methods: We quantified concentrations of BPA, BPS, and BPF in 660 urine samples from 148 predominantly low-income, African American children (aged 5-17 years) with established asthma. We used biobanked biospecimens and data on symptoms, health care utilization, and pulmonary function and inflammation that were collected every 3 months over the course of a year. We used generalized estimating equations to examine associations between concentrations or detection of urinary bisphenols and morbidity outcomes and assessed heterogeneity of associations by sex. Results: We observed consistent positive associations between BPA exposure and measures of asthma morbidity. For example, we observed increased odds of general symptom days (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.40 [95% C = 1.02-1.92]), maximal symptom days (aOR = 1.36 [95% CI = 1.00-1.83]), and emergency department visits (aOR = 2.12 [95% CI =1.28-3.51]) per 10-fold increase in BPA concentration. We also observed evidence of sexually dimorphic effects; BPA concentrations were associated with increased odds of symptom days and health care utilization only among boys. Findings regarding BPS and BPF did not consistently point to associations with asthma symptoms or health care utilization. Conclusion: We found evidence to suggest that BPA exposure in a predominantly low-income, minority pediatric cohort is associated with asthma morbidity and that associations may differ by sex. Our findings support additional studies, given the high pediatric asthma burden and widespread exposure to BPA in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-586.e7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • African American
  • Asthma
  • BPA
  • BPF
  • BPS
  • asthma morbidity
  • childhood asthma
  • inner-city asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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