Bisphenol A (BPA)

Learn about bisphenol A (BPA).

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About BPA

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate. It may also be used as an ingredient in some resins, which can act as a lining on the inside of some metal food and drink cans.

BPA can be found in a range of products, such as:

  • plastic food storage containers, including:
    • pitchers
    • tableware
    • reusable water bottles
  • thermal paper receipts
  • certain food packaging materials
  • older types of polycarbonate baby bottles

Safety of BPA

Under Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan, we assess and manage the potential risks that chemical substances can pose to Canadians and the environment. We completed a chemical risk assessment for BPA in 2008 based on uses and information available at that time.
At that time, we found that:

  • Most Canadians had low to very low exposure levels of BPA that do not pose a health risk.
    • There was a potential concern for infants, which led to added protective measures.
  • Exposure to BPA from food packaging does not pose a health risk to Canadians, including infants.

What we're doing

Newborns and infants are protected from exposure to BPA under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. The Act makes it illegal to manufacture, import, advertise or sell polycarbonate baby bottles that contain BPA.

We have many initiatives that monitor Canadian exposure to BPA. We also continue to review the latest available information and research on BPA as part of the Chemicals Management Plan.

We have has also worked with industry to successfully phase out the use of BPA-containing packaging for liquid infant formula products available for sale in Canada.

We’re also gathering information to inform future actions on a broad class of bisphenol substances.

What you can do

Consumers are reminded to:

  • Check your containers, including older baby bottles to see if they contain BPA:
    • Look for a 3-sided triangular arrow with a number 7 in the centre.
    • Next, look for a “PC” or “polycarbonate” marking on your container/baby bottle.
      • These markings mean the container/bottle may contain BPA.
    • If you're still unsure about the type of plastic, contact the manufacturer.
  • Microwave food safely:
    • Use only glass, or food grade plastic containers that are labelled microwave safe.
    • Only use plastic wrap that is labelled microwave-safe.
    • Avoid using plastics and containers that are visibly damaged, stained or have an unpleasant smell.
  • Store food safely:
    • Use only stainless steel, glass, or food-grade plastic containers.

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