Bisphenol A: A Scientific Evaluation

Michael A. Kamrin, PhD

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In This Article

What Is It and How Is It Used?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that serves as a raw material for the manufacture of a variety of compounds, many of which are present in consumer goods. Its major use is as a monomer in the production of polycarbonates and epoxy resins. BPA is also used in lesser amounts in various applications, for example, as an intermediary in thermal paper production and as an antioxidant and inhibitor of end polymerization in the manufacture of poly(vinyl chloride) plastics.

Polycarbonates are used in a variety of consumer products, including a number that come into contact with food, such as returnable beverage containers, infant feeding bottles, plastic dinnerware, and plastic storage containers. In addition, they are used in nonfood consumer goods, such as eyeglass lenses, electrical equipment, household appliances, and sport safety equipment. Epoxy resins also have a number of applications that involve contact with food. In particular, these resins are part of the protective linings used in food and beverage cans and may also be used in food-processing applications, for example, as a coating applied to the interior surfaces of some vats used in wine making. Other applications of epoxy resins include epoxy resin-based paints, floorings, adhesives, protective coatings, and printed circuit boards. Similar resins are also used in some dental composites and sealants.

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