Due to the prevalent use of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins in packaging materials and paints for ships, there has been a widespread global contamination of environmental water sources with bisphenol A (BPA). BPA, an endocrine disruptor, has been found to cause tremendous health problems. Therefore, there is an urgent need for detecting BPA in a convenient and sensitive manner to ensure water safety. Herein, we develop a fluorescent turn-on BPA probe, named Bisphenol Orange (BPO), which could conveniently detect BPA in a wide variety of real water samples including sea water, drain water and drinking water. BPO shows superior selectivity toward BPA and up to 70-fold increase in fluorescence emission at 580. nm when mixed with BPA in water. Mechanistic studies suggest a plausible water-dependent formation of hydrophobic BPA clusters which favorably trap and restrict the rotation of BPO and recover its inherent fluorescence. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.