Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound from the bisphenol group, which is primarily used as a starting material for the production of various plastics. It is produced by a condensation reaction of phenol and acetone using catalysts such as polystyrene sulfonate or hydrogen chloride. The amount of the substance produced worldwide is several million tons per year.
Bisphenol A is of great importance for the plastics industry. It serves as a base material for polymerization reactions and is used in the manufacture of epoxy resins, polyesters, polycarbonates, polyetherketones, polyurethanes and polysulfones. This means that it is found in many everyday products such as toys, food packaging, plastic bottles and coatings. In addition, the substance is used in various fields of application as an antioxidant and is added to brake fluids and plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for this purpose, among other things. The tetrabromobisphenol A produced on its basis is an important flame retardant for polymer plastics. Bisphenol A is also widely used as a color-developing component of thermal paper.
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CAS no. 80-05-7
EINECS no. 201-245-8
Molecular formula: C15H16O2
Synonyms: dibenzenehydroxolpropane, diphenylolpropane, 2-propane-4-diphenol, 2-propane-4,4′-diphenol, 4,4′-(propane-2,2-diyl)diphenol, p-diphenol-2-propane, 2,2 -bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane, 4,4'-dimethylmethanediphenol, 4,4'-diphenoldimethylmethane, p-diphenoldimethylmethane, 4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol, 4,4'-(dihydroxybenzene)dimethylmethane, 4,4'- (Dihydroxybenzene)-2-propane, 4,4'-dibenzyldimethylmethane-1,1'-dihydroxide, 4-[2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propan-2-yl]phenol
Areas of application: Starting material for the production of various polyesters, polycarbonates, polyetherketones, polysulfones, polyurethanes and epoxy resins, flame retardants, antioxidants, color developers in thermal paper
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a symmetrical compound made up of two parts phenol and one part acetone. The substance thus has two aromatic phenyl rings, each of which has a hydroxy group and are connected to one another via the propane residue of the acetone. The middle carbon atom of acetone is at the center of the bonds, so that it has two methyl groups in addition to the phenol groups. Starting from this center, the compound is also referred to as diphenoldimethylmethane. The common designation as bisphenol A expresses the structural similarity of the substance to other bisphenols whose phenol residues are not linked via acetone (A) but, for example, via molecules of butanone (bisphenol B) or formaldehyde (bisphenol F).
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a colorless to white solid that is in the form of crystalline scales, flakes or powder and has a slight inherent odor. The compound has a high melting point and only becomes liquid at a temperature of 155 °C. Liquid bisphenol A boils at 360 °C under a pressure of 5.3 hPa.
The compound is hardly soluble in water. However, bisphenol A has good solubility in many organic solvents such as ethanol, diethyl ether, toluene, benzene, acetone and ethyl acetate.
Under normal storage conditions, Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemically very stable compound. The compound is flammable, but is difficult to ignite. When handling open containers of the substance, fine particles can be whirled up and form explosive dust-air mixtures with the ambient air. Adequate distance to sources of ignition such as sparks, open flames, hot surfaces and electrostatic discharges must therefore be ensured. The combustion or thermal decomposition of bisphenol A produces irritating and harmful gases. In particular, large amounts of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide can be released.
Bisphenol A (BPA) poses acute and chronic health hazards. On the skin, the substance can cause redness, swelling and persistent sensitization. Since the compound is not water soluble, affected areas of the body should first be cleaned with soap and then with PEG 400 to remove residue. In the event of contact with the eyes, immediate rinsing and ophthalmological treatment must be arranged. In addition to swelling and severe redness, corneal opacities and scarring can form. Inhalation of large amounts of Bisphenol A dust may cause irritation of the mucous membranes, coughing and difficulty breathing.
If the compound is swallowed, dysphagia, pain, irritation and chemical burns in the mouth and throat may occur. Uptake in the stomach can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If larger amounts are absorbed in the metabolism, neuromuscular impairments, circulatory disorders and functional disorders of the liver and kidneys can occur. Long-term exposure to bisphenol A can have reproductive and teratogenic effects. In addition, the compound is classified as a substance with hormone-like effects that can contribute to diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and thyroid disorders.
Bisphenol A is considered to be a highly water-polluting substance that can cause significant damage to aquatic organisms. It is therefore essential to avoid the compound escaping into the environment. Any entry into the ground, drains or open water must be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities. For the transport of bisphenol A, there is a regulation for labeling it as an environmentally hazardous substance.