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Commonly abbreviated as BPA, Bisphenol A is an organic compound (chemical formula (CH3)2C (C6H4OH)2) with two phenol functional groups. It is soluble in organic solvent but poorly soluble in water used to make polycarbonate polymers and epoxy resins as well as plastics. The first chemical synthesis of bisphenol A is was made by the Russian Chemist A.P. Dianin in 1891. It has been extensively studied in the 1930s during the search for estrogen synthesis. It was never used as a synthetic estrogen because of the discovery at the same time another synthetic compound, the DES; the properties proved more interesting and are prepared by condensation of acetone with two equivalents of phenol (Walsh, 2011). The reaction is catalyzed by an acid such as hydrochloric acid (HCL) or a sulfated polystyrene resin. It usually uses a large amount of phenol to ensure complete condensation.


Bisphenol A is used at present as a monomer for the industrial production by polymerization of plastics like polycarbonate resins and epoxy. The polycarbonates are widely used in everyday consumer products from sunglasses and CDs to the water containers and food. In France, in 2008, they are present in 90% of bottles. They are considered potentially responsible for the precocity of the onset of puberty and it is suspected a strong effect on development (Chemical Week, 2011).

Environmental and Safety Issues

Bisphenol A raises a strong debate since it consists of certain hormone like properties suspecting its presence in the consumer products. Several governments has raised concerns about the safety concerns regarding bisphenol and attempted to withdraw polycarbonate products claiming it hazardous for the populaces. In 2010, Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) report in United States raised concerns about harmful exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children to bisphenol while Canada declared BPA as a toxic substance in 2010 and banned its use in baby bottles. Same was done by the European Union (Walsh, 2011).

Bisphenol is massively produced and dispersed into the environment in recent decades, it is commonly found in the body of a large majority of the population regardless of age, especially in children. The degree of toxicity and of eco-toxicity of Bisphenol A, and secondarily the acceptable daily intake are still debated, and have mainly been studied in laboratory for its effects on the brain. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially declared BPA safe but then revert back based on new studies finding the potential effects on the brain and prostate in infants and the fetus (Keisuke et al, 2003). The FDA then encouraged the initiative of the U.S. industry to stop using BPA in baby food containers and bans BPA to no longer use in the linings of cans.

Diethylsylbestrol (DES) has a similar structure to Bisphenol A and is implicated that the two substances are likely to have very similar biological activities. Diethylsylbestrol (DES) was originally one of the worst drug disasters of the twentieth century and was prescribed to pregnant women, which resulted in birth defects, cancer, problems to design and conduct a full-term ...
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