Detecting Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Human Urine: Advancements and Concerns

Over 1,000 out of 85,000 human-made chemicals could be endocrine disruptors according to the Endocrine Society.
Discover the hidden risks of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in everyday products and how scientists are using innovative technologies to create safer environments. EDC exposure has been linked to obesity, diabetes, reproductive issues, cancer, and fertility problems. Join the conversation to learn about recent advancements and let's tackle this important issue together!

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are xenobiotics found in various everyday products that can disrupt the regular activity of hormones and are a public health concern. Over 1,000 out of 85,000 human-made chemicals could be endocrine disruptors according to the Endocrine Society. Exposure to EDCs has been linked to obesity, diabetes, reproductive disorders, cancer, and adverse birth outcomes. Methods like HPLC-ESI MS/MS can detect phenolic EDCs like Bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan (TCS), 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), estrone (E1), and 17 β-estradiol (E2) in human urine. 

Among EDCs, BPA is one of the most studied and is widely used in consumer products. BPA is one of the highest volume chemicals produced worldwide with global volume consumption of 7.7 million metric tons of BPA in 2015. Biomonitoring studies conducted on US populations have revealed that the average daily intake of Bisphenol A (BPA) is approximately 25 ng/kg body weight/day (b.w./day). Regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have set a safety threshold of 50 µg/kg b.w./day for human exposure to BPA. However, extensive research has demonstrated that even gestational and lactational exposures to BPA at or below this threshold can lead to various negative health effects.

Exposure to EDCs can stimulate the expression of glucuronidation enzymes in specific tissues, which is potentially a defensive mechanism of the body to eliminate these and other toxic substances. Once BPA enters the human body, it undergoes conversion into glucuronide and sulfate conjugates in the gastrointestinal tract and the liver. Up to 84–97% of bisphenol A is eliminated through urine dominantly in conjugated form. Whereas glucuronides are major conjugated metabolites of BPA in urine, other minor conjugates include sulfates and glucuronide/sulfate derivatives. Therefore the use of β-glucuronidases and sulfatases has been a useful tool for detecting certain EDCs in urine.

At Finden, KURA Biotech, we are committed to advancing toxicology and drug testing by supporting scientists to develop accurate and reliable methods to detect and quantify metabolites in biological matrices. Our innovative
β-glucuronidase B-one and enhanced mix BGS could be a valuable addition to the technologies you are considering for detecting EDCs. Please feel free to contact us for further information.