Bisphenol-A (BPA) Questions and Answers


Q: What is BPA?

A: BPA is the building block of polycarbonate plastic and is an organic compound used to make plastic and epoxy resins. For more than 50 years BPA has been considered safe for use in various food contact materials and everyday items, such as eyeglasses, compact discs, cell phones and can liners.

Q: When did the commercial use of BPA begin?

A: The commercial use of BPA began in 1957 in the United States and in 1958 in Europe.

Q: How is BPA used in the bottled water industry?

A: BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate home and office delivery ("HOD") containers.

Q: Is BPA used to make PET containers?

A: No. BPA is not used to make single-serve, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers used in the bottled water industry.

Q: Why is polycarbonate plastic with BPA used in food and beverage containers?

A: Polycarbonate plastic has been used for more than 50 years in food and beverage containers because it is lightweight, highly shatter-resistant and transparent.

Q: Have regulatory agencies studied the safety of BPA?

A: Many regulatory agencies around the world have studied the safety of BPA. The conclusion from these studies and comprehensive safety evaluations by government bodies is that polycarbonate bottles are safe for consumer use.

Q: Which regulatory agencies have conducted studies on the safety of BPA?

A: The regulatory agencies that have ruled BPA safe for consumer use include; U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"); European Food Safety Authority ("EFSA"); German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment ("BfR"); Health Canada; Food Standards Australia New Zealand ("FSANZ") and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology ("NIAIST").

Q: What is the FDA position on BPA?

A: The FDA supports studies on BPA that are robust and follow specific international recognized standards. In January 2010, the FDA stated that "studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA." The FDA has not taken any regulatory action against BPA.

Sources: The International Bottled Water Association ("IBWA") and the American Chemistry Council ("ACC");