Bisphenol A (BPA)

Learn about bisphenol A (BPA) and if it’s safe.

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About bisphenol A

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make a hard, clear plastic known as polycarbonate. It is also used in epoxy resins. These resins act as a protective lining on the inside of some metal-based food and beverage cans.

BPA can be found in:

  • pitchers
  • tableware
  • water bottles
  • food storage containers
  • older types of polycarbonate baby bottles

Safety of bisphenol A

We assessed the potential health and environmental risks of BPA through a chemical risk assessment.

We found:

  • Our exposure levels are lower than previously estimated.
  • Most Canadians are exposed to very low levels of BPA that do not pose a health risk.
  • BPA in food packaging is not a health risk to Canadians, including newborns and children.

Ongoing protective measures

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

Along with our own research, we also review the latest information on BPA as part of Canada's Chemicals Management Plan.

Minimize your exposure to bisphenol A

You can check if the container, including baby bottles, contains BPA:

  • Look for a 3-sided triangular arrow with a number in the centre.
    • If the number is 7, your bottle may contain BPA.
    • 7 is also used to identify other plastics, and most number 7 plastics do not contain BPA.
  • Next, look to see if the product has "PC" or "polycarbonate" on its packaging.
    • If there is no reference, the product is unlikely to contain BPA.
  • If you're still unsure about the type of plastic, contact the manufacturer.

If you choose to continue using polycarbonate baby bottles, you can minimize your baby's exposure to BPA. Follow these 5 steps:

  1. Do not put very hot or boiling water in polycarbonate baby bottles.
    • BPA will leach out of the bottle at a much higher rate.
  2. Cool boiled water to a lukewarm temperature in a BPA-free container.
  3. Transfer the lukewarm water to polycarbonate baby bottles.
  4. Sterilize the bottles according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Cool sterilized bottles before pouring milk or other liquids into them.

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