BPA, full name Bipshenol A or 4,4'-Isopropylidenediphenol, is a chemical compound that is used as the starting material for many polycarbonate plastics - strong, often transparent plastics that can easily be molded into consumer products such as water bottles, food containers, DVDs and childrens toys. BPA is also used to create epoxy resins used to coat the interior of food cans, line water pipes and cover thermal paper for printing receipts. It has been in commercial use since 1957. There are concerns about BPA's safety in consumer products, due to its estrogen-mimicking, hormone-like properties. In 2008, Canada became the first country to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, followed by the European Union in 2011. In 2017, the European Chemicals Agency listed BPA as an endocrine disruptor (chemical that interferes with the body's hormone system) and ‘substance of high concern.’ When released into the environment, BPA has been shown to be toxic to aquatic life, inhibiting growth, reproduction and development of aquatic organisms.