Kylene Peroutky

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Ken Overway

Degree Award Date

Spring 2010


microwave safe, plastic, testing, BPA, Oleic acid


Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a plasticizer that is commonly used in plastic products, such as containers and water bottles, in order to improve the performance of the plastic. However, it is thought to have potential health risks and is currently being investigated by the FDA. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the concentration and lower detection limit of BPA which leaches from plastic containers under normal microwaving conditions. Oleic acid, a key component of cooking oil, was used to extract the BPA from the plastic containers. After microwaving, the BPA was extracted from the oleic acid and derivatized. This solution was then analyzed using a GC/MS.

The three brands of plastic containers were tested. Rubbermaid claimed to contain BPA, Ziploc claimed to be BPA free, and the Wal-Mart brand was an unknown. After microwaving for 10 minutes, Ziploc and the Wal-Mart brand showed no BPA peak on the chromatogram. However, the Rubbermaid containers had a peak area that was above the quantitative limit of detection. At 5 minutes of cooking time, the peak area for Rubbermaid was above the qualitative detection limits.