Bisphenol A, usually abbreviated as BPA, is an organic compound with two phenol functional groups.
BPA has been used since the 1960s mainly in the manufacture of plastics, which are used in food and beverage containers, dental fillings, paints and eyeglass lenses, among other everyday objects.
In this regard, it is a key monomer in the production of epoxy resin and in the most common form of plastic polycarbonate. However, several investigations have revealed that excessive exposure to this material can have adverse health effects, although for the time being these appear to be short-range and at high doses.
A 2010 report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) raised awareness of this compound in relation to exposure of fetuses, infants and young children.
In this context, numerous alterations caused by bisphenol A have been associated in living beings, based on a deregulation of the endocrine system (“endocrine disruptor”) and hormone production (mimicking the structure of natural estrogens). Adverse effects include:
- Behavioral changes: Hyperactivity and aggressiveness.
- Diabetes and obesity.
- Early puberty.
- Reduced sperm count.
- Prostate cancer.
- Breast cancer.
- Chromosomal alterations.
- Brain damage.
- Impaired immune function.
- Decreased levels of enzymatic antioxidants.
However, the European Food Safety Agency(EFSA) has) decreed that BPA “does not represent a health risk to consumers in any age group” and in the European Union BPA is allowed for use in food contact materials, always below established safe limits that prevent leaching.
These restrictions also apply to toys for children up to three years of age. The migration limit, which is currently set at 0.1 mg/l BPA, will be reduced to 0.04mg/l in 2018.
The use of BPA in thermal paper is banned in the EU, with the deadline for manufacturers, importers and users of thermal paper being 2020, by which time it should have been completely eliminated.
In this sense, the efforts of Coniex and its R+D+i Department have been focused on developing new resin bases with bisphenol F, prioritizing human health and the environment, as well as improving all our products manufactured with epoxy base, highlighting our pioneering decorative enamels in the market.