EU warns of Bisphenol health threat

The EU food safety watchdog warned Friday that exposure levels to Bisphenol A (BPA), already implicated as a health concern for babies, should be cut by a factor of 10.

The European Food Safety Authority said a review of recent studies showed "exposure to BPA is likely to adversely affect the kidney and liver, as well as causing effects on the ."

BPA may also have an effect on the "reproductive, nervous, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems, as well as in the development of cancer," it said.

Although this link is not "considered likely at present," the possibility adds "to the overall uncertainty about the risks of the substance," it said in a statement.

Accordingly, it recommended that the tolerable daily intake of BPA be cut by a factor of 10, on a temporary basis.

At the same time, the EFSA said the "health risk for all population groups is low - including for foetuses, infants, young children and adults," given current levels which are already below its recommendation.

The presence of BPA, a synthetic compound found in certain plastics, has sparked a ban on baby feeding bottles. It is also found in cash register receipts and in the linings of cans.

Some studies have suggested it can disrupt hormones and tests on laboratory animals have linked it to brain and nervous system problems, reproductive disorders and obesity.

The EFSA said it was now launching a public consultation on its findings through to March 13, with conclusions due later in the year.

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