Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Sara Hubbard

Second Reader

Dr. Angela Douglass

Third Reader

Dr. Amber Chelette


Bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly used to make plastics, and it is also used to make epoxy resin linings for metal food containers. People are exposed to this chemical daily through bottles, metal food containers, and other plastic products. BPA exposure has been linked to negative effects on the body including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and reproductive problems. Special caution should be taken for children because their systems are not fully developed, and they are often more susceptible to the negative effects. BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and activate them. It has this ability because of structural similarities to estradiol.

While BPA is now regulated in many plastic products, it is not regulated in toothbrushes. This summer's research tested for BPA in several infant oral hygiene products. BPA is a fluorescent compound with an excitation wavelength of 277 nm and an emission wavelength of 304 nm. The presence of BPA was determined through the use of the FS-5 Spectrofluorometer from Edinburgh Instruments. A calibration curve and analytical figures of merit (linear range, the limit of detection, and limit of quantitation) were determined for BPA. This information was then utilized to monitor the concentrations of BP A that leached from several brands of infant toothbrushes over time. Products labeled as "BP A free" were compared to products that did not have a corresponding label.

Included in

Chemistry Commons



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