BPA demand soft

I wonder if continuous pressure from advocates and regulators are finally affecting demand for bisphenol-A (BPA)?

BPA producer Hexion Specialty Chemicals recently announced its plans to indefinitely idle its BPA3 production unit, part of its manufacturing complex in Deer Park, Texas.

Hexion said the decision was made because of continued soft demand for BPA due to the economic downturn.

“We will continue to operate our newer BPA4 unit in Deer Park, as well as our BPA unit in Pernis, The Netherlands, ensuring a continued supply for our merchant customers and our internal requirements,” the company said.

The use of BPA has been in the middle of various US statewide (and proposed federal) bans as several reports have linked BPA’s health risk. BPA has been found in polycarbonate bottles as well as other food containers.

Just last week, Minnesota became the first state to ban the use of BPA in the manufacturing of sippy cups and bottles effective January 1, 2010. The ban extends to all retailers in the state a year later.

Other states such as California, Connecticut, Michigan and New York are considering similar legislation.

While some alternatives are already coming out to replace BPA, the use of chemical is still difficult to phase out in other applications, according to consultants.

Hexion says majority of its BPA output is consumed internally in the production of epoxy resin products that are used in a wide range of coatings, adhesives, composites and other applications.

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