Exposure to BPA chemical far less than thought: EU watchdog

The European Union's food safety watchdog said Thursday that human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has triggered health fears and a ban on baby feeding bottles, is far lower than thought.

Preliminary investigations have led to "a considerable refinement of exposure estimates compared to 2006," the year of its last major study into BPA, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced.

The new estimates show people are exposed to "less than one percent of the current Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for BPA (0.05 milligrams/kg bw/day) established by EFSA in 2006," a statement said.

An EFSA spokesman cautioned, though, that it was too early to draw judgement on risk.

"It doesn't follow that because the exposure is less, the risk is also lower—there is no causal link," the spokesman said.

Further work into risk will be published early in 2014.

BPA is a common component of plastic bottles and the linings of food cans.

But some studies have found it disrupts hormones, and tests on laboratory animals have linked it to brain and nervous system problems, reproductive disorders and obesity.

It has been banned for use in in a number of economies, including the European Union, United States and Canada.

The EFSA scientists found dietary exposure to BPA to be the highest among children aged three to 10, with canned food and non-canned meat and meat products identified as major contributors for all age groups.

The scientific advisory panel is now seeking feedback before deciding whether the risk levels have also changed.

If that turns out to be the case, the baby-bottle ban could theoretically be reversed.

In March 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected an appeal by environmental groups to ban BPA, saying there was no scientific evidence of harm to humans.

Actual BPA exposure to infants was 84-92 percent less than previously estimated, the US agency said.

It said, though, that this was not the final word on the issue, and voiced support for further research on safety.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France sees labelling of contested chemical BPA

Sep 27, 2011

France's ecology minister on Tuesday said she would seek labelling requirements for food containers made with bisphenol A (BPA) after a watchdog agency sharpened its concern about this chemical.

France bans contested chemical BPA in food packaging

Dec 13, 2012

The French parliament voted Thursday to ban the use of bisphenol A, a chemical thought to have a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system, in baby food packaging next year and all food containers in 2015.

FDA bans BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups

Jul 17, 2012

(HealthDay) -- The controversial plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is now banned for use in baby bottles and sippy cups, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.

Plastic chemical may expose foetuses to cancer (Update)

Apr 09, 2013

France said Tuesday it would call for Europe-wide controls on a paper product containing bisphenol A after a watchdog agency said the widely-used chemical may expose unborn children to breast cancer later in life.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

4 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

6 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

User comments