Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BPA in Composite Materials

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound that is widely used in plastics. The majority of BPA is used as a monomer in the manufacturing of polycarbonate (think 5-gallon water bottles), but there is a large amount being used as an additive in epoxy resins. Recently, BPA has been shown to act much like the hormone estrogen; causing concern for consumer products containing BPA. (In particular baby bottles and water bottles.)

Concerns over BPA in the structural composites industry are yet to come to light as the majority of epoxy based composite products do not allow for human ingestion. However, one use of epoxy does, and this is causing some concern.

Many epoxy dental sealants commonly use BPA, in a recent survey among dentists, 25% reported being "very worried" about the use of BPA in dental sealants. Here is the American Dental Association's take on BPA.

It will be interesting to see the future of BPA in consumer products, plastics, and epoxy...

Photo Credit: ^@^ina via flicker

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