---------------------------------Bisphenol A------------------------------------------


Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is an organic chemical that is used primarily as a base to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It’s IUPAC name is 4,4'-dihydroxy-2,2,-diphenylpropane and its chemical formula is
C15H16O2 or (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2 . bpaStructure.gif external image 800px-Bisphenol_A.svg.png
3D Structure of Bisphenol A
3D Structure of Bisphenol A

----------------------------------------------History of BPA---------------------------------------------------_

Bisphenol A was first discovered by Thomas Zincke in the University Of Marburg, Germany in 1905. Although he did not come up with all the uses for bisphenol a, scientists later discovered in 1953 the many uses of this chemical. Commercial products began to be made with polycarbonate plasitc in 1950's.

----------------------------------------------How it's Made------------------------------------------------------


Bisphenol A is produced by condensing phenol and acetone with an acid catalyst (hydrogen chloride) and a prompter such as methyl mercaptan present. BPA is washed with water, neutralized with calcium hydroxide and distilled under vacuum. In newer processes it is purified further in distillation and extractive crystallisation under pressure to purify the BPA. BPA is produced in two grades depending on its purity. It is used to make Epoxy Resin and the higher purity is used to make polycarbonate plastics.
polycarb_prod2006.jpg
This chart shows the production of polycarbonate plastic and what it was used for in 2006

------------------------------------------How it Affects Us_--------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------What it's Used For--------------------------------------------------------------------------_

BPA is used to make polymer plastics and coatings, mainly epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics.

Epoxy Resin
As mentioned before, BPA is used to make epoxy resin, which is a chemical used in coatings, adhesives and compocans.PNGsite materials. Examples include coating for food and beverage cans, flooring and fiberglass reinforcements. In food and beverage cans, the coating helps prevent the content from spoilage, extending their shelf life, as well as prevents corrosion and contamination of canned foods and beverages with metals and bacteria. Epoxy resins provide a protective coating for flooring and other materials making it more durable.

Polycarbonate Plastics
The higher purity BPA is used for producing polycarbonate plastics. Polycarbonate plastic is a lightweight, strong, and transparent plastic. These unique characteristics make it a common material used in many commercial products. Such as plastic water bottles, eyeglass lenses, medical equipment, cell phones, auto components and many more. It benefits us in many ways such as the strength of the plastic makes products that are shatter resistant and durable so products can be reused after sterilization in medical practices. The transparency of the plastic is able to make products such as safety goggles and optical lenses. The fact that it is lightweight also makes it a good product to use for auto components. It helps decrease the weight of the vehicle and increase fuel efficiency.

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These are examples of where you would approach polycarbonate plastics


_------------------------------------------------------- Negative Effects of BPA-----------------------------------------------------------------_


Since BPA is the base of polycarbonate plastics, it is in almost all plastic products. Many people have been concerned about the fact that BPA may be harmful to the human body especially to newborns and infants. This is because the BPA may leach into the food products or water from the plastic. It affects infants because many of the bottles that infants drink from contain BPA and recent research shows that BPA may affect the growth of the infant. BPA is a hormone disruptor that acts like estrogen. When inside an infants body may cause a false etrogen affect and alter an infant's normal brain development. Some concerns around BPA also included how it increased chance of receiving certain cancers and diseases. But recent studies show that the amount of BPA needed to actually affect someone is not likely to occur in a human body long enough.
Several studies on human volunteers have shown that the very small amount of BPA that may be ingested by a person during normal daily activities is efficiently converted to biologically inactive metabolites, which are eliminated from the human body within 24 hours. Many products today indicate "BPA Free" to assure consumers safety.

external image 1214519884bottle1-web.jpg

external image baby_bottles_bpa.jpg
external image baby-bottle.jpg

----------------------------------------_Interesting Facts-----------------------------------------------------

BPA does not bioaccumulate and is biodegradable. Studies were conducted to monitor the presence of BPA in surface waters in US, Europe and Japan. No BPA was detected in many samples from the area. When it was detected, the typical concentrations were less than 1 microgram per liter (parts per billion). This means 1 part per billion is equal to 1 drop of BPA in 150,000 litres of water.
It has been demonstrated that BPA efficiently biodegrades in wastewater treatment systems. Any residual BPA that makes it into the environment quickly decomposes and does not accumulate in the environment.

BPA is also one of the most extensively tested products today and has been studied and researched for over 40 years to clearly identify there is no concern about human health due to exposure of BPA. More than 1,300 pounds of food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate plastic would have to be ingested each day for a consumer to reach the safe intake level set by the European Food Safety Authority.

-----------------------------------------------+ How to determine the type of plastic_---------------------------------------------------------


Polycarbonate Plastics are in the 'Other' category.
Polycarbonate Plastics are in the 'Other' category.

--------------------------------------------_Bibliography_----------------------------------------------------_


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Types of Plastic. Digital image. Waste Online. Web. 4 June 2010. <http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/Plastics.htm>.

"Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010." U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Web. 2 June 2010. <http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm197739.htm#background>.