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Bisphenol A in everyday products: Answers to frequently asked questions

Updated FAQ of the BfR from 13 July 2023

The substance bisphenol A is used to produce the plastic polycarbonate, which, in addition to its use in house and vehicle construction, is applied in consumer products such as DVDs and smartphones, but also for containers and bottles for food. Bisphenol A can also be used in the manufacture of inner coatings for beverage and food cans. During normal use, polycarbonate and epoxy resins used for the coatings are chemically stable and will not break down again into bisphenol A. However, the substance may remain in small quantities as a residue in the plastics and may be released from them. Until the ban at the beginning of 2020, BPA was also contained in thermal papers (for example for cash register receipts or parking tickets).

Bisphenol A has been classified by the European Commission as toxic to reproduction (category 1B). Therefore, and due to its properties as an endocrine disruptor for human health and the environment, bisphenol A has been identified as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) under European chemicals legislation. Endocrine disruptors are substances that cause adverse health effects by affecting the endocrine system.

People take up the substance mainly via the food, but air, dust or water are also possible sources for bisphenol A exposure. The substance has a low acute toxicity. However, it has been associated with a number of effects in animal experiments with long-term exposure. The question of whether and to what extent bisphenol A affects human health has been the subject of scientific debate for years and has not yet been conclusively clarified.

In the following, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) answers questions that are frequently asked about bisphenol A.



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Updated FAQ of the BfR
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