Plastics, Politics, and Production: the Political Economy of Bisphenol A


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Sociomedical Sciences


This research examines political, economic, and scientific changes in the United States in the last four decades of the twentieth century through the story of one chemical, bisphenol A. Used in the production of plastics, bisphenol A became an economically vital, scientifically controversial, and environmentally ubiquitous chemical by the 1990s. This research begins in the 1960s with the establishment of regulations affecting plastics’ contact with food and bisphenol A’s introduction into plastics production. It then traces the intersecting histories of scientific research, environmentalism, regulation, and plastics production up to the present. Through this case history, this project provides unique insight into the making of our environment, economy, and health.