Bisphenol A (BPA)

Black and white chemical structure of bisphenol A
CAS Number: 80-05-7

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make a hard plastic called polycarbonate. Until recently, BPA was also widely used to make the protective coatings inside food and drink cans, but US manufacturers have been phasing it out in response to consumer demand and scientific findings of serious health concerns. BPA may be in adhesives used to bond fabrics, such as for “no-stitch” clothing. It is also still used in some types of paper receipts.

Fact Sheet

BPA is found in:

  • Hard polycarbonate plastic in a variety of items, such as:
    • Some kitchenware, like plates, mugs, and storage bottles.
    • Eyeglass lenses, and screens for cell phones and laptop computers.
    • Safety equipment, like helmets and protective visors.
    • Parts for cars, light fixtures, and medical devices.
  • Some protective coatings inside food cans; on household appliances; inside metal drinking water pipes; and on laminate flooring and concrete.
  • Some clothing, including baby socks, blankets, and onesies.
  • Some dental sealants.
  • Some receipts printed on smooth shiny paper, such as from cash registers or gas pumps.
  • Building materials, like sealants, adhesives, and grout.

Possible health concerns of BPA:

  • May harm the reproductive system in women.
  • May interfere with the body’s natural hormones.
  • May affect the fetus and infant, including possible changes in development and behavior.
  • Might increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to BPA:

  • Eat more fresh food and less canned food.
  • Use glass or stainless steel containers for food and drinks.
  • Request an electronic receipt, or no receipt, when possible. If you work as a cashier or otherwise frequently handle receipts, wear nitrile gloves.
  • Because BPA can come out of products and collect in dust:
    • Wash your and your child’s hands often, especially before preparing or eating food.
    • Clean your floors regularly, using a wet mop or HEPA vacuum if possible, and use a damp cloth to dust.

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