BPA is present in many products, making it highly probable for consumers to be exposed to the substance. This page contains more information about BPA, what it is used for and what effects it might have on human health.

Which types of products contain BPA?

BPA is a chemical substance that can be used in a wide range of products, such as plastics used in construction materials, electronics, medical devices and food and drinks packaging materials. It is also used as a base for epoxy coatings, which can be used as protective coatings for cars and ships, laminate flooring, adhesives and (parts of) water mains.

Coming into contact with BPA

People can come into contact with BPA in various ways. The quantity of a substance that enters the body is known as the exposure. Consumers are primarily exposed to BPA through food and beverages. For example, BPA can end up in food and drink if it is introduced to the food through the food packaging material, such as tins or (re-useable) plastic food containers. Whether BPA genuinely ends up in the food and drink we consume depends on a variety of factors, for example on how the container was manufactured, what kind of food or drink it contains and how the container has been handled. Heating plastic containers in the microwave, for example, can lead to high quantities of BPA ending up in food and beverages. That is why it is essential people use plastic products according to the instructions for use. Never heat plastic if it is not meant to be heated.

BPA in healthcare

Patients in healthcare facilities can come into contact with BPA through medical devices, such as intravenous equipment, implants and catheters. We do not know how much of the substance these products contain. People will only come into contact with the substance if it leaches from the device, which is not necessarily the case. The medical interventions and the use of devices are assessed carefully by medical specialists for each individual treatment process.

BPA in the workplace

People who work with BPA can be exposed to this substance by breathing it in or through exposure via the skin. Those who work with BPA will be exposed to BPA to a higher degree than the average consumer. Employers have a statutory obligation to ensure that any work involving BPA is safe. They are required to assess whether the use of the chemical is necessary and ensure that workers can take the appropriate protective measures to limit exposure.