Questions and answers on Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A, also commonly referred to as BPA, is an organic chemical which is the essential basic building block (intermediate) for high performance polymer plastics and coatings, mainly polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins.
Question and Answer
Bisphenol A is an organic chemical which is the essential basic building block for high performance polymer plastics and coatings.

How does Covestro use BPA?

At Covestro, Bisphenol A is mainly used as an intermediate to create polycarbonate plastic. Polycarbonate plastic is often selected because of its unique combination of properties, such as clarity, durability, light weight, mechanical strength and its heat resistance, which are essential for many applications.

End-user applications of BPA-based polycarbonate plastic are numerous and diverse, ranging from DVDs, housings of computers and home appliances, to spectacles and optical lenses, reusable water bottles, food storage containers, medical equipment, construction materials and many more.

What is the position of Covestro on safety of BPA with respect to consumers?

As a leader in the chemical industry initiative Responsible Care®, Covestro takes any concerns about its products very seriously and closely follows scientific discussions on BPA. The chemical has been widely studied and used for decades. Regulatory agencies and expert panels around the world, many with specific responsibility and scientific expertise for evaluating the safety of materials used in food contact applications, have determined that BPA is safe when used as an intermediate for polycarbonate plastic food contact applications.

Given the numerous full term comprehensive guideline studies consistently attesting to the safety of BPA, the assessments made by regulatory authorities in the European Union, the United States, Australia and Japan, and the extensive knowledge and expertise of our own scientists, Covestro is of the firm belief that there is currently no reasonable scientific basis for any health or safety concerns concerning the use of polycarbonate in intended consumer applications.

Are there alternatives to BPA in polycarbonates?

BPA-based polycarbonate offers a unique combination of technical properties like clarity, durability, light weight, mechanical strength and heat resistance which are critical for many of its applications. A polycarbonate with a different building block than BPA would be another material with a completely different property profile and would not possess these qualities.

This reflects that the monomer BPA serves as an intermediate (not as an additive); it is the basic building block to produce polycarbonate. During polymerization the BPA molecules are firmly bound in the polymeric structure of the plastic polycarbonate.

What is Covestro doing to ensure the safety of polycarbonate products?

As Covestro, we are committed to being a leader in product stewardship and sustainable development practices. Our goal is to ensure that our products are handled both safely and with concern for the environment at every stage of the products’ life cycles.

We are achieving this goal through our expertise in producing and handling chemicals safely, and we are developing and handling BPA-based polycarbonate under the core principles and commitments of the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® Global Charter.

Our experts are also closely following all new scientific developments with respect to BPA. Scientific assessments from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other regulatory organizations around the globe consistently reinforce that BPA and polycarbonate plastics are safe at current levels of exposure and for their intended uses.

In particular, we as well as the industry associations to which we belong will continue to actively engage with the public, government agencies, customers, and other important stakeholders on the topic of BPA to contribute to a fair and open discourse.

Further information is available at the websites of PlasticsEurope and the American Chemistry Council.