What are bisphenols?

Bisphenols are a group of chemicals that are mainly used with a combination of other chemicals in the manufacture of plastics and resins. The most widely used Bisphenol is BPA, which is used in polycarbonate to make food containers, such as returnable beverage bottles, infant feeding (baby) bottles, tableware (plates and mugs) and storage containers. Residues of BPA are also present in epoxy resins used to make protective coatings and linings for food and beverage cans and vats, and can also be used in the production of cash register receipt paper.

Aside from food contact materials, Bisphenols are also used in the leather industry. Bisphenol S is used in the production of synthetic tanning chemicals while Bisphenol F and S can be produced as an unwanted by-product.


The risks

The dangers associated with bisphenol A are in large part due to the fact that BPA can migrate in small amounts into food and beverages stored in materials containing the substance. This can cause adverse health effects as BPA is a known endocrine disruptor; these are toxins that interfere with the normal activities of the endocrine system, which regulates hormone levels in the body. Endocrine disruptors are also problematic in terms of environmental pollution.

Due to the known risks of Bisphenol A, it is commonly being phased out and replaced by analogous bisphenols including Bisphenol S, Bisphenol F and more. The toxicity of these alternatives is actively being studied.


Why carry out bisphenol testing?

Currently, most restrictions regarding bisphenols are centered around bisphenol A. The restrictions concerning Bisphenol A are largely directed at food contact materials; BPA based polycarbonate resins are banned in the EU in infant feeding bottles and sippy cups, whereas in the US, BPA is banned in all recycling and food containers.

However, recent proposals and restrictions have gone beyond food contact materials. Bisphenol A (BPA) exists in the substances of very high concern (SVHC) candidate list and a recent intention to restrict bisphenol A within Annex XVII of REACH has been submitted. Which, if accepted would restrict the use in additives and the content in articles, residues in articles, mixtures for industrial and professional use where strictly controlled conditions cannot be assured and would involve introducing release rates for bisphenols in articles. The scope of this restriction would also aim to address bisphenols of similar concern.

Whilst the effects of this proposal may still be some way off, it is important to consider whether these chemicals are cause for concern within your supply chains.


How can BLC help?

  • REACH SVHC testing and screening service – testing for the presence of substances included in the latest published SHVC list, including BPA.
  • Testing for Bisphenols including BPA, BPF, BPS, BPAF, BPB and BPD.


Contact us by email [email protected] or phone +44 (0) 1604 679999

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Eurofins | BLC holds accreditations from UKAS and CPSC and has auditors approved to carry out LWG audits. Trust Eurofins | BLC to deliver some of the most accurate test results in the industry.

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