In 1997, GE Plastics and Bayer AG announced that they were forming a joint venture with an initial investment of 40 million dollars to develop and market polycarbonate materials that could be used to replace glass for automotive side windows. 15 years later in 2012 the Fiat 500L became the first car to use polycarbonate side window glazing. Sounds like the beginning of a great new market for polycarbonate. Unfortunately the only windows on the Fiat 500L that are made from polycarbonate are the tiny rear corner windows at the back of the vehicle. To make matters worse, the Fiat 500L remains the only car that has used polycarbonate side window glazing. What happened?
Almost everyone by now has at least some familiarity with BPA in plastic, especially if you have kids. For those of you that are not familiar, here is the media narrative on BPA. BPA is an additive that is used in plastic materials. This additive causes horrible health problems but the evil chemical industry won’t remove it and the FDA must be being bought off by the same evil chemical industry to continue to allow its use. In fact the whole obesity epidemic might be the fault of BPA and thus the evil chemical industry.