• Users Online: 67
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-68

BPA Free - Should we take notice?

Department of Orthodontics, SRMC, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication17-Apr-2017

Correspondence Address:
Sridevi Padmanabhan
Department of Orthodontics, SRMC, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-5742.204619

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Padmanabhan S. BPA Free - Should we take notice?. J Indian Orthod Soc 2017;51:67-8

How to cite this URL:
Padmanabhan S. BPA Free - Should we take notice?. J Indian Orthod Soc [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Apr 19];51:67-8. Available from: http://www.jios.in/text.asp?2017/51/2/67/204619

Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic compound, forms the basis of a very busy industry which produces clear and tough plastic, a sector that thrives and grows annually. BPA, first produced in 1891, was identified as an estrogen mimic early on and its endocrine-disrupting properties have been recognized for decades. Endocrine disruptive chemicals (EDCs) are a recognized group of chemicals listed by the WHO [1] which are mostly human-made, found in various materials such as pesticides, food contaminants, and personal care products, thus facilitating human exposure through food, dust, water, and through skin.

BPA being one of the most extensively studied and well-known EDCs is known to bind and stimulate estrogen receptors and alters the response of tissues to normal estrogen. It has widely received bad press because of the potential hazards it poses to the brain causing behavioural effects, alters immune response, affects the action of other hormones and increases the risk of cancer. A variety of clinical conditions are linked to BPA, but the most important concern seems to be the long-term effect it has on the reproductive organs causing early onset puberty in females, feminization in males, and the long-term effect it can have on the fetus, since even in small doses, it is detected in adult and fetal blood, amniotic fluid, placental tissue, breast milk, and saliva.[2]

BPA is commonly found in hard reusable plastic bottles and the epoxy lining of canned foods. Its release is said to increase several folds on heating and on exposure to acidic foods such as canned tomatoes. Thus, many countries have banned baby bottles which contain BPA, several products now carry the BPA-free tag, and lifestyle changes are advocated which include switching to glass, ceramic, or metal crockery, avoiding heating BPA-based plastic in microwaves and so on.

With so much environmental exposure of BPA, the additional exposure from dental products is a cause for concern.

In dentistry, BPA is a startup material of the bisphenol A glycidyl methacrylate, bisphenol A dimethacrylate, and bisphenol A ethoxylate dimethacrylate monomers found in dental sealants, adhesive resins, and composite resins and these have been studied for BPA release.[3] In orthodontics, BPA release is detected not only in products that are used during active treatment but also during retention. A recent study evaluating a wide variety of orthodontic products found that thermoformed Biocryl acrylic resin retainer material and a fully cured Transbond XT orthodontic adhesive released BPA.[4] While we may take comfort from the fact that orthodontic resins release BPA below the reference dose for daily intake,[5] we are also reminded that complete polymerization is important not only for bond strength but also to minimize material degradation and leaching of toxic products. Bonding protocol including minor details such as position of the curing light plays a role in complete polymerization and therefore BPA release.[6] It is also important to remove excess resin around the brackets and ask the patient to rinse thoroughly after bonding.

Hawley retainers which have been in use for several decades are also a source of BPA since the inhibitor (hydroquinone) present in the liquid component of the base plate material releases BPA. Vacuum-formed retainers (VFR) which are very popular and made of polypropylene/polyethylene are also suspect since BPA is added to polymers to make them clear and tough; however, this has escaped the radar of researchers till now. Recently, our team published findings comparing BPA release in the saliva of orthodontic patients between VFR retainers and heat-cured and chemical-cured Hawley retainers. All retainers significantly increased the concentration of BPA in saliva, but this was maximum with VFRs followed by self-cured resins and the least was in heat-cured resins.[7] The results of this study could be extrapolated to other removable appliances that orthodontists use including the wide usage of functional appliances for the susceptible population of growing children.

In addition to previously mentioned health problems, concern has been expressed that BPA release in dental resins causes psychosocial problems in children.[8] The increased BPA release from VFRs could be a cause for concern since polymeric aligners made of polyurethane have recently become extremely popular. Preliminary in vitro studies have revealed mixed results when evaluating the effect of invisalign appliances on oral epithelial cells.[9],[10] With many more aligner companies flooding the market more clarity in their composition and long term in vivo studies are required.

The jury is still out on the position of BPA exposure. On the one hand, BPA released from orthodontic materials is less than the recommended safety levels. The US human exposure limit and the European Food Safety Authority have set the tolerable daily intake level of BPA to 50 mg/kg/day.[3],[4] Moreover, the concentration of the released BPA is reduced because it is diluted by saliva and other fluids in the oral cavity. On the other hand, there is emerging research which implies that a low-dose effect exists that can alter cellular level signaling and cell functions.[11],[12] These may be examples of nonmonotonic dose responses, which are common for hormones and EDCs that mandate a new risk assessment for BPA.[13],[14]

In the light of this information, the dental and orthodontic community cannot be complacent in the use of BPA-containing products. Till clarity emerges, we need to limit if not eliminate BPA release from orthodontic appliances by listening to the cautionary tales that research tells us.

“Primum non nocere”

  References Top

World Health Organization. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Food Safety Authorities Network, Bisphenol A (BPA) –Current State of Knowledge and Future Actions by WHO and FAO, Information Note No. 5/2009, Bisphenol A; 2009. Available from: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/bisphenol-a/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Jan 23].  Back to cited text no. 1
Kloukos D, Eliades T. Bisphenol A and orthodontic materials. In: Eliades T, Brantley WA, editors. Orthodontic Applications of Biomaterials. A Clinical Guide. Abington, Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing, Elsevier Ltd.; Copyright @ 2017.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kotyk MW, Wiltshire WA. An investigation into bisphenol-A leaching from orthodontic materials. Angle Orthod 2014;84:516-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
Turpin DL. Early bisphenol-A studies negative for orthodontic adhesives. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2008;134:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
Sunitha C, Kailasam V, Padmanabhan S, Chitharanjan AB. Bisphenol A release from an orthodontic adhesive and its correlation with the degree of conversion on varying light-curing tip distances. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2011;140:239-44.  Back to cited text no. 6
Raghavan AS, Pottipalli Sathyanarayana H, Kailasam V, Padmanabhan S. Comparative evaluation of salivary bisphenol A levels in patients wearing vacuum-formed and Hawley retainers: An in-vivo study. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017;151:471-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
Maserejian NN, Trachtenberg FL, Hauser R, McKinlay S, Shrader P, Tavares M, et al. Dental composite restorations and psychosocial function in children. Pediatrics 2012;130:e328-38.  Back to cited text no. 8
Eliades T, Pratsinis H, Athanasiou AE, Eliades G, Kletsas D. Cytotoxicity and estrogenicity of Invisalign appliances. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2009;136:100-3.  Back to cited text no. 9
Premaraj T, Simet S, Beatty M, Premaraj S. Oral epithelial cell reaction after exposure to Invisalign plastic material. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2014;145:64-71.  Back to cited text no. 10
Hass U, Christiansen S, Boberg J, Rasmussen MG, Mandrup K, Axelstad M. Low-dose effect of developmental bisphenol A exposure on sperm count and behaviour in rats. Andrology 2016;4:594-607.  Back to cited text no. 11
Mandrup K, Boberg J, Isling LK, Christiansen S, Hass U. Low-dose effects of bisphenol A on mammary gland development in rats. Andrology 2016;4:673-83.  Back to cited text no. 12
vom Saal FS, Hughes C. An extensive new literature concerning low-dose effects of bisphenol A shows the need for a new risk assessment. Environ Health Perspect 2005;113:926-33.  Back to cited text no. 13
Vandenberg LN, Colborn T, Hayes TB, Heindel JJ, Jacobs DR Jr., Lee DH, et al. Hormones and endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Low-dose effects and nonmonotonic dose responses. Endocr Rev 2012;33:378-455.  Back to cited text no. 14

This article has been cited by
1 Aligners and allergy A proposal for prevention and precaution
Rooban Thavarajah
Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society. 2018; 52(1): 85
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded6    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal