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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(4):386-402. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.536919.

Release of bisphenol A from polycarbonate: a review.

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Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra, VA, Italy.


The release of Bisphenol A (BPA) from polycarbonate baby bottles into food and food simulants is reviewed in the perspective of the current intensive discussions on the risks of this substance. Potential factors that have been reported to influence the release of BPA are reviewed. Unlike most polymers polycarbonate is hydrolyzed under alkaline conditions by scale formation, residual alkaline detergents and boiled water. Data suggest that brushing of the bottle did not raise the release of BPA. Claims that used bottles release more BPA than new bottles and that mineral composition of the aqueous food simulant affect release could not be substantiated. There are indications that aminolysis of polycarbonate by milk and ethanolysis of polycarbonate by 50% ethanol might take place under relevant test conditions. The relatively few migration data following the test conditions of European food contact material legislation, comply with the specific migration limit. Two test conditions were identified that reflect real use and exposure, and might cause higher release of BPA compared to the test conditions of European food contact material legislation. Further detailed studies are necessary to verify whether these two exposure scenarios are more severe.

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