Bisphenol A Detection Chem Owl

Bisphenol A can be detected in baby bottles, food and beverage containers, plastics water bottles and in other places around your home - want to find out more? Click here to find out why Bisphenol A detection is important and about the hazards of BPA in your home.


1 Cotton swab (“q-tip”)

2 Disposable plastic cup

1 Small disposable white plastic plate

Rubbing alcohol (a.k.a.: ethanol) OR Nail polish remover (a.k.a.: acetone)

Water (preferably de-ionized)

Bisphenol A Indicator: Iron(III) chloride (can be purchased here)

BPA Detection Procedure

1. Place the item you wish to test in cup of just-boiled water for 5 minutes.

2. Lightly soak a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and rub against the test item for about 1 minute.

3. Let swab air dry to evaporate the alcohol.

4. In a cup mix a 1/4 teaspoon of Bisphenol A Indicator with 1 cup of water. Label this solution – “Indicator”.

5. On a white plastic plate place a drop of the Indicator solution.

6. Dip the dried test swab into the drop solution mixture and allow it to soak up the liquid. If Bisphenol A is present on the swab a purple, blue or green coloration should appear on it within 1-10 minutes (depending on the concentration).

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with a clean (untreated) swab which will serve as a reference to help distinguish the color-change.

Comments About BPA Testing

• This method is qualitative and able to detect BPA content down to 0.1%.

• When testing several items, be sure to check each individual surface with separate swabs and drop solution mixtures in order to avoid cross-contamination of the results.

• If Bisphenol A is detected it is advised that you limit your exposure and contact a professional.

Bisphenol A Testing Safety

• Always work with safety glasses and disposable gloves.

• Always keep chemicals away from children and food.

• Do not use containers, utensils or other tools that you may use to prepare food.

• Dispose of solutions in a drain with flowing water.