Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Sara E. Hubbard

Second Reader

Dr. Marty Perry

Third Reader

Professor Stacy Freeman


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical widely used in production of consumer goods. It has come under scrutiny recently after being labeled as an endocrine disruptor (ED), mostly causing adverse effects in infants and young children. It has been associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and abnormal maturation. Because it is so commonly used in product development, humans are exposed to BPA through various means, such as ingestion or dermal absorption. It is a concern that the combined exposure could cause serious effects even in small doses.

In canned foods, the chemical is made into an epoxy resin to provide a protective lining along the inside of the can. BPA migration occurs when the free BPA moves from the lining into the contents of the can. This study used the standard addition method in order to determine the concentration of BPA in canned goods, as well as the effect of heat on the migration of the chemical from the can's epoxy lining to its liquid contents. Fluorescence spectrophotometry was also used to quantify BPA concentrations, as BPA is a fluorescing molecule. The limit of detection (LOD) for the instrument was 0.3844 µg/ml.

After removing the can's original contents and replacing it with HPLC-grade H2O, BPA levels ranged from 0.7 0.7 ± 0.5 to 1.2 ± 0.5 µg/ml. In the original liquid though, concentrations vacillated between 43.5 ± 0.7 and 95 ± 4 µg/ml. After the application of heat, values stretched from 39 ± 2 to 94 ± 12 µg/ml. The results confirmed the presence of BPA in all of the cans, and indicated that there was no effect on migration of BPA after heating samples.


Dedicated to:

My Parents, For putting up with me being away from home for an entire summer

My Friends, For providing an audience for all of my practice presentations

Dr. Sara Hubbard, For being my mentor for the entirety of my research and writing experience

You are all awesome.



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