Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Jacqueline Brehe

Second Advisor

Grant Hokit

Third Advisor

Charlotte Jones

Abstract

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogenic compound that is used in the manufacturing and production of polycarbonate resins and plastics. BPA is commonly found in dental sealants, linings of tin cans, and some water and baby bottles. Human consumption may occur through the leaching of BPA from these products. Because BPA is an endocrine disruptor, it is suggested to have a negative effect on body energy levels, reproduction, and growth and development. Of particular concern is the effect of BPA on the growth and production of adipocytes (fat cells) in fetuses and the newborn. Three randomly selected Fischer 344 pregnant female rats were exposed to BPA through their drinking water at an average of 0.1 mg BPA/kg/day from day 11 of pregnancy until offspring were weaned. Once weaned, offspring were exposed to BPA through their drinking water at an average of 0.06 mg BPA/kg/day from the day of weaning (21 days after birth) to day 42 of development. Through the use of specific gravity, the percent body fat of each offspring was determined. Statistical analysis demonstrated that exposure to this low- dose BPA did not have a significant effect on an increase in rat percent body fat. A significant increase in body weight was demonstrated in male offspring, but not in female offspring.

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