Bisphenol A (BPA) is a carbon-based synthetic compound with the chemical formula (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2 belonging to the group of diphenylmethane derivatives and bisphenols, with two hydroxyphenyl groups. It is a colorless solid that is soluble in organic solvents, but poorly soluble in water. It has been in commercial use since 1957.
BPA is employed to make certain plastics and epoxy resins. BPA-based plastic is clear and tough, and is made into a variety of common consumer goods, such as water bottles, sports equipment, CDs, and DVDs. Epoxy resins containing BPA are used to line water pipes, as coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans and in making thermal paper such as that used in sales receipts.
BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in some consumer products and food containers. Since 2008, several governments have investigated its safety, which prompted some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products. The FDA has ended its authorization of the use of BPA in baby bottles and infant formula packaging, based on market abandonment, not safety. The European Union and Canada have banned BPA use in baby bottles.