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2D structural formula of Bisphenol A


What is it?

“Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic synthetic compound with the chemical formula belonging to the group of diphenylmethane derivatives and bisphenols, with two hydroxyphenyl groups.” – BPA wiki

Bisphenol A (BPA) effects

This substance belongs to the groups:

Choose BPA free – Get the facts

BPA meaning = Bisphenol A.  Both names refer to the same chemical, as BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is simply the abbreviation of the chemical.

Unfortunately, there are many BPA dangers, as evident from the many category groups, it belongs to. Because of the many negative effects, it is nowadays fairly common to find products, from a wide variety of applications, with the “BPA free symbol”.

BPA free meaning = the product does not contain the chemical. 

In some countries, bisphenol A (BPA) is even banned for use in consumer products. For instance, it is prohibited for use in cosmetics in the European Union and Canada. 

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies bisphenol A as a substance that:

“may damage fertility, causes serious eye damage, may cause an allergic skin reaction and may cause respiratory irritation” and “is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects and is suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child.”

BPA is also on ECHA’s Candidate List of “Substances of Very High Concern”. That is a list of particularly harmful substances, both to human and the environment, that are likely to be banned or restricted for all applications in the near future.

Furthermore, it is also identified as an endocrine disruptor by the European Member State Committee (MSC). BPA has estrogen mimicking properties and is a so-called xenoestrogen. Any chemical with hormone-like properties are of concern as already small exposure can cause negative effects.

Stay safe and avoid this ingredient in your products by using the free Ingredient Scanner. Scan a product page and all name variations of this chemical found on ingredient lists will be highlighted in red

Bisphenol A (BPA) plastic and other uses

Perhaps the most well-known use of this chemical is in the production of plastics and resins. That is why, as above mentioned, you now find many plastic bottles with the “BPA free symbol”.

Apart from plastic, it is also common to use this chemical in all kinds of products that needs coating. That is why you can find bra on receipts, coated to make them smooth and shiny, and in the lids and insides of food cans and bottles.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is very pervasive in our food system and present in many of our everyday items, consumer products, food, and drink packaging. In fact, it is one of the most common synthetic chemical to enter our bodies from different products we are exposed to daily.

BPA can be found in products and containers such as :

  • plastic plates and glasses
  • pacifiers for babies – forbidden in, for example, Sweden, but unfortunalty legal in other parts of the world.
  • food cans
  • lids of glass jars
  • bottles for cooking oil
  • aluminum drink cans
  • aerosol cans
  • store receipts
  • baby bottles
  • medical devices
  • airline tickets

From all these uses, BPA is released to the food and drink that we consume, to our bodies and the environment from the products we use.

BPA in cosmetics

In cosmetic products*, Bisphenol A is most commonly used as a preservative. Although it is not so common to find it in cosmetics anymore as it has been prohibited in many parts of the world, it may still be found.

However, you may still be exposed to BPA if the cosmetic product you are using comes in a container manufactured with it.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

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