Used in epoxy lacquers since the 1960s, bisphenol A (BPA) has been banned in some markets because of studies that linked it with health problems. Our new BPA-NI (bisphenol-A non-intentionally included) pre-lacquered steel for aerosol mounting cups has now been approved by major brands. It offers comparable performance to BPA solutions, and complements our BPA-NI tabstocks and ends.

Strong demand for alternatives

Although a 2015 scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found it posed no health risks to consumers, BPA has been banned in France for food contact applications and is subject to mandatory labelling in the state of California. This has driven strong customer demand for alternatives, leading us to develop a BPA-NI pre-lacquered steel for aerosol mounting cups alongside the BPA-NI steels we had already developed for tabstocks and ends.

Testing success

In testing, our BPA-NI product performed as well as traditional epoxy products that contain BPA, particularly for water and alcohol-based simulants. Alongside this innovation, we have already developed a chromium-free (Cr-free) passivated tinplate coated with a BPA-NI lacquer. BPA-NI steel for aerosol mounting cups became available to customers towards the end of 2018.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical which is primarily used in the production of hard plastics (such as polycarbonate) or epoxy resins. These epoxy resins are a major component of the epoxy lacquers which act as a barrier between the contents of a can and the external packaging. Used since the 1960s, some studies have shown it can leach, in small quantities, into the contents of a can. Scientific studies have linked BPA intake to health problems.

New European regulations are expected to strongly reduce the amount of BPA that is allowed to migrate from the can packaging into the can’s contents. In 2017, BPA was recognised by ECHA Member State Committee (MSC) as a substance of very high concern because of its endocrine disrupting properties which may cause serious effects to human health.

Recently the EFSA expert Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings, and Processing Aids discussed and endorsed a scientific protocol for an upcoming re-evaluation of BPA hazards. The re-evaluation is scheduled to start in 2018.