is bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A (C15H16O2) more
commonly known as BPA, is a chemical produced in large quantities used to make
polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.
there commercial uses for this compound?
BPA are used in food and drink packages and also in many hard plastic food
containers such as baby bottles and reusable cups. Resins containing BPA are
used to coat metal products, including the lining of metal food and beverage
cans, bottle tops and some water supply pipes.
Some dental sealants and tooth coatings also contain BPA.
BPA present in the environment?
is not a naturally occurring compound. However, it may be present in the
environment from manufacturing facilities due to processing and handling, or from
the products directly.
BPA is rapidly broken down in the atmosphere. BPA in surface
water is estimated to degrade over a period of three to four days and is not
likely to be significantly removed through evaporation. The potential to
accumulate in fish is low and it is not readily available to be taken up by
plants. BPA moderately
adsorbs to soils or sediments.
are people exposed to BPA?
Human exposure to
BPA occurs commonly. People are exposed to BPA through food or drink that has
been in contact with items containing the chemical, e.g., canned foods such as
vegetables, other foods stored in plastic containers or liquids in hard
plastic bottles. Exposure to BPA may occur from stretch film used in food
packaging that contains the substance. BPA in food and beverages and paper
receipts account for the majority of daily human exposures.
Exposure to BPA
may also occur from the use of medical equipment, including tubes, catheters,
plastic bags, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, cash register receipts, and
dental composites and sealants containing the substance.
exposure can occur through direct contact with BPA in the workplace. Environmental
exposure to BPA though air, dust, and surface water is minimal.
happens to BPA once it enters the body?
is absorbed into the blood through the gut or skin and goes directly to the
liver where it is extensively broken down. The remainder is almost all excreted
in the urine within 24 hours. A 2008 study reported that almost 93 percent of
individuals age six or older had detectable BPA levels in their urine. BPA
urine levels were higher in children than adults. BPA is also present in breast milk.
harmful is exposure to BPA?
In humans, BPA
may interfere with the production or activity of hormones.
effects from BPA at low environmental exposures are unknown. However, the
National Toxicology Program (NTP) has some concern for potential
effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and
children and has minimal concern for effects on the breasts and an
earlier age for puberty for females, in fetuses, infants and children.
In the workplace,
exposure to BPA dust may irritate the eyes, make skin sensitive and cause
dermatitis and eczema. Contact may burn the eyes, lips and skin. Inhaling BPA
can irritate the nose and throat, and cause coughing and wheezing. Exposure can
also cause headache, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.
choose glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for foods, and use infant
formula bottles that are BPA-free. Also, look for toys that are labeled BPA-free.
Can exposure to BPA cause cancer?
It is not yet
known if exposure to BPA causes cancer in humans.
some people at greater risk of harm from BPA than others?
and children may be at greater risk of harm.
there a medical test to show whether I’ve been exposed to BPA?
urine collection and analysis is an accurate and reliable measure of BPA
the federal government made recommendations to protect public health?
There are no
federal standards or guidelines governing the safe use of BPA in food-contact
materials and no regulatory limits for occupational exposure to BPA in the United States. In 2004, the
American Industrial Hygiene Association proposed a workplace environmental
exposure level of 5 mg/m3 for BPA.
can I do to prevent exposure to BPA?
Do not microwave
polycarbonate plastic food containers. Do not put very hot water, infant formula or other
liquids into BPA-containing bottles while preparing them for your child. Also, do not heat
cans of infant formula on the stove or in boiling water. Eat fresh or frozen
foods instead of canned foods.
Avoid plastic products
that contain BPA, such as plastic bottles with the letters PC or with recycling
codes of 7 or 3 and do not wash polycarbonate plastic containers in the
dishwater with detergents.