|Preferred IUPAC name
2-tert-Butyl-4-methoxyphenol and 3-tert-butyl-4-methoxyphenol (mixture)
3D model (JSmol)
|E number||E320 (antioxidants, ...)|
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||180.247 g/mol|
|Density||1.0587 g/cm3 at 20 °C|
|Melting point||48 to 55 °C (118 to 131 °F; 321 to 328 K)|
|Boiling point||264 to 270 °C (507 to 518 °F; 537 to 543 K)|
|Insoluble in water|
|Solubility||Freely soluble in ethanol, methanol, propylene glycol; soluble in fats and oils|
Refractive index (nD)
|1.5303 at 589.3 nm|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
(what is ?)
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a synthetic, waxy, solid petrochemical. Its antioxidant properties have caused it to be widely used as a preservative in food, food packaging, animal feed, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, and petroleum products. BHA has been used in food since around 1947.
Since 1947, BHA has been added to edible fats and fat-containing foods for its antioxidant properties as it prevents rancidification of food which creates objectionable odors. It has been assigned the E number E320. It is often combined with a similar chemical, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
The U.S. National Institutes of Health report that BHA is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In particular, when administered in high doses as part of their diet, BHA causes papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas of the forestomach in rats and Syrian golden hamsters. In mice, there is no carcinogenic effect; in fact, there is evidence of a protective effect against the carcinogenicity of other chemicals.
When examining human population statistics, the usual low intake levels of BHA show no significant association with an increased risk of cancer. The state of California has, however, listed BHA as a carcinogen.
The European Commission has conducted an evaluation of literature. They noted the lack of potential for the compound to induce carcinogenic effects in humans; studies showing carcinogenic effects in hamsters are not relevant to humans (which lack a forestomach). Also noted is that endocrine disruption, if any, is only likely to be present at levels vastly exceeding the intake as a food. 
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – Summaries & Evaluations stated butylated hydroxyanisole was tested for carcinogenicity in two experiments in rats and in two experiments in hamsters by administration in the diet, inducing benign and malignant tumours of the forestomach. 
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- Botterweck AAM, Vergaen H, GoldBohm RA, KleinJans J, van den Brant PA (2007). "Intake of Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene and Stomach Cancer Risk: Results from Analyses in the Netherlands Cohort Study". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 38 (7): 599–605. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(00)00042-9. PMID 10942321.
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