Dental patients may ask about a widely reported article on exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) from sealants and composite materials, which was published on September 7th in the journal Pediatrics and will appear in the October print edition.1 News coverage on the article has raised several common questions about the relationship between BPA, a synthetic chemical resin, and dental materials. This "Science in the News" provides analysis based on the current body of knowledge on sealants and composites that contain BPA derivatives (monomers derived from BPA).
In recent years, widespread media attention has focused on environmental exposure to BPA in consumer products (e.g., plastic bottles and canned foods), citing public health concerns and persistent debates about BPA's safety, its reported estrogenic properties, and potential adverse health effects. Of relevance to dentistry, BPA has often been publicized as a chemical that was "found in" or "released from" dental materials, which has generated some misperceptions and inaccurate information about health risks related to potential BPA exposure from dental materials. Many questions have also been raised about the presence of BPA as a starting ingredient in the formation of two monomers that are widely used in resin-based materials: bis-DMA and bis-GMA.
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