Bisphenol A

BPA; 4,4'-isopropylidene-diphenol; formula: C15H16O2; CAS Registry Number: 80-05-7
Structure of bisphenol A
Source: PubChem
Identifier: CID 6623

Commercially important precursor of polymers like polycarbonates and epoxy resins

Bisphenol A (BPA) belongs to the group of aromatic carbon compounds with two phenol rings. It is an important industrial chemical which is used mainly in the production of polycarbonates and epoxy resins. Furthermore, BPA is present in plasticizers and thermal paper, e.g. sales slips and is the parent compound of the flame retardant Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA).

BPA can be released from the polymer matrix. This is especially problematic when using polycarbonates and epoxy resins in food industry, for instance in baby bottles, food containers and protective linings of cans and metal lids where released BPA results in a contamination of food. BPA may enter the environment either directly or following the degradation of BPA-containing products. It is mainly present in waters while its concentration in air and soil is much lower. Under aerobic conditions it is biodegraded. Nevertheless, BPA is widely distributed which points towards constant new emissions.

BPA is an endocrine disruptor and is suspected to be neurotoxic. Human exposure is primarily through contaminated food but also through skin absorption, e.g. by contact with sales slips of thermal paper. In the body the toxicologically relevant unconjugated BPA is rapidly metabolised to BPA-glucuronide and BPA-sulphate to facilitate renal excretion. Total BPA comprises unconjugated and conjugated BPA.

Since 2010 resp. 2011 the use of BPA in baby bottles is banned in Canada and in the European Union.


  • Total Bisphenol A
    Total Bisphenol A is the sum of unconjugated and conjugated BPA.


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Sampling area

Sampling period

1995 - 2009

Extended information

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