Environmental emissions of Bisphenol A

Excavator bucket with sediment in a riverClick to enlarge
Up to 20 µg of Bisphenol A can be found sedimentary per kg.
Source: Paul Fleet / Fotolia.com

Due to its effects on hormone systems, Bisphenol A is a worldwide controversially discussed, but also an economically important substance. In Europe, chemical industry is producing 1.15 million tons annually.

The chemical is a precursor for polycarbonates and epoxy resins, used for example for plastic bottles or tin coatings. Furthermore, Bisphenol A is a developer chemical in thermal paper. Scientists regularly detect Bisphenol A in the environment. Scientific experts involved in this UBA-study analyzed up to date data provided by registrants, data bases and scientific studies to identify the sources and quantities of Bisphenol A emissions to the environment. The largest part of the environmental emissions originates from the production of Bisphenol A, epoxy resins, and thermal paper. Also emissions from the recycling of thermal paper fractions and PVC products contribute to Bisphenol A emissions to the environment. The same holds true for deposited waste of Bisphenol A containing products. In actual studies Bisphenol A was measured in concentrations up to 1 µg/L in surface waters, up to 20 µg/kg in sediments, and up to 2.5 µg/L in agricultural soils. High values are in particular found near point sources such as production-, use- or further-use sites. However, Bisphenol A also reaches the environment via other processes or diffuse sources (such as waste disposal sites).

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 Bisphenol A  Sediment