Science and Technology
Context: Recent studies have reported that ‘Bisphenol A’, may shorten the life cycle of a mosquito and lead to a population explosion.
About Bisphenol A:
- Bisphenol A is a synthetically obtained colourless, crystalline organic compound that occurs in the solid phase belonging to the diphenylmethane group.
It is soluble in organic solvents but poorly dissolves in water
- It is also used as eyewear glasses. It is a chemical is widely used to soften plastics, paints, and other products.
- It is known to impair reproduction and development in aquatic organisms.
- Its exposure is delayed larval development and pupation time in common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster).
Uses of Bisphenol A :
- BPA polycarbonate plastics are very sturdy in nature and are used to make large variants of microwave-proof utensils.
- It is used as a material for safety glasses, bulletproof windows and helmets.
- Bisphenol A acts as a component in epoxy resins that are very good coating agents and therefore is used for the protective coating of pipelines and to cover the inner surface of food cans.
- It is used in many medical devices such as heart-lung machines, incubators, artificial kidneys, dental fillers, and sealants.
- It is also used as eyewear glasses , due to their optical clarity.
Environmental impacts of Bisphenol A:
- BPA can enter the environment directly through the leaching of chemicals or degradation of materials containing bisphenol A and may render the land unfertile and barren making it unsuitable for agriculture.
- It affects the growth and reproduction of marine life.
- It causes endocrine effects in fish, amphibians, and reptiles.
Adverse effects of Bisphenol A on human health:
- When ingested, the chemical disrupts the endocrine system by interfering with the hormones and affecting the brain and prostate gland of foetuses, infants, and children.
- It can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults.
- BPA is a xenoestrogen and mimics estrogen present in the body, thus exhibiting hormone-like properties.
- It can indirectly aid in the spread of vector-borne diseases in humans and animals.
Source: DOWN TO EARTH
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) Bisphenol A (BPA), a cause of concern, is a structural/key component in the manufacture of which of the following kinds of plastics? (2021)
- Low-density polyethylene
- Polyethylene terephthalate
- Polyvinyl Chloride
Q.2) “Triclosan” is considered harmful when exposed to high levels for a long time, is most likely present in which of the following? (2021)
- Food preservatives
- Fruit-ripening substances
- Reused plastic containers
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