BPA and Phthalates in Laboratory and Consumer Water Sources

Patricia Atkins, Thomas Mancuso,
Vanaja Sivakumar and Ralph Obenauf


Spex CertiPrep, Metuchen, NJ 08840

Abstract

The study examined the phthalate and bisphenol A (BPA) levels of several popular commercial bottled waters, municipal tap water, various samples of laboratory water from commercial sources, well water, and water from  de-ionized filtration systems.  In addition, the study attempted to discover whether the phthalate and BPA levels increased after being heated under conditions comparable to temperatures reached inside an automobile during the summer.  Samples were extracted then tested for phthalate and BPA levels by GC-MS.  The concentration of phthalates and BPA found in all the commercially bottled water samples and the municipal water sources were below EPA RfD (oral reference dosage) guidelines.  The EPA, defines the RfD as:  ‘…an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a daily exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime. The RfD is generally expressed in units of milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day (mg/kg/day).’  In addition, the exposure of bottled water to heat did not significantly increase the concentration of phthalates.  BPA was not detected in any of the bottled water or municipal water sources.  The water samples taken from consumer Point-of-Use (POU) systems varied greatly in the level of phthalates and BPA depending on the type of system and the amount of water flushed from the system prior to the samples being taken.  Samples taken from a stationary POU system had increased levels of phthalates compared to samples taken after the stationary water was flushed from the system.  Samples taken from one of the POU systems were found to contain small amounts of BPA, well under the guidelines of the EPA’s RfD.

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