Bisphenol A organic pollutant molecule

Bisphenol A organic pollutant molecule

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Credit: DR MARK J. WINTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bisphenol A, molecular model. This chemical is used in the plastics industry, both as an antioxidant and as a component of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. There are concerns that this use has led to levels of bisphenol A in the environment that may be harmful. Several studies have found that it can act as a synthetic oestrogen (a female hormone), lowering sperm counts and causing infertility in men. It is also thought to disrupt foetal development, even at the very low levels found in the environment. The research is continuing and the findings are disputed by the plastics industry. Atoms are represented as spheres are colour-coded: carbon (blue), oxygen (red) and hydrogen (gold).

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