Add air to the growing list of places where bisphenol A (BPA) is found, say a pair of Japanese researchers who have measured and reported levels of the chemical in the world's atmosphere. They discovered BPA in air samples from all over the world at widely varied levels – from almost nothing in remote areas near the poles to 10,000 times more than that in India and other heavily populated regions of Asia.
The results show the far reaching extent of BPA contamination and identify yet another likely source of exposure for people. Exposure is possible because researchers found that BPA floats in the air attached to particles that can infiltrate lungs. Still, the amounts of this exposure and any potential health risks from breathing the contaminated air are not known.Researchers believe that BPA enters the air when plastics, electronics and other waste are burned, since the highest concentrations were measured near populated areas and coincided with high levels of other chemicals that are associated with burning plastics.
See also: Controversial chemical BPA found on paper money, SFGate, Dec. 8, 2010