In order to study whether bisphenol A (BPA) can pass into drinking water from polycarbonate barrel and exist in the river and industrial effluent the indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the determination of BPA was established. The results presented an inhibition concentration at 50% absorbance (IC50) of 0.123 mg L−1, and the limit of detection (LOD) is 9.934 μg L−1. The specificity of antiserum was proved well because the cross-reactivity with benzene, tert-butylbenzene, hydroquinone and o-hydroxybenzoic acid were found lower than 0.01%, except phenol was 0.26%. The method was found to be reliable and repeatable. It was used for monitoring the concentration of BPA in the barreled drinking water. The results confirmed BPA can pass into barreled drinking water from the polycarbonate barrel and concentration increased as days went on. A certain content of BPA was found in industrial effluent. The results of ELISA were consistent with the results of UV spectrophotometry. BPA could not be found in the water samples obtained from Zhujiang River. The established method shows specific recognition of BPA and could be applied in detection of environmental BPA.

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