23-Jan-2015 - European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

No consumer health risk from bisphenol A exposure

EFSA’s comprehensive re-evaluation of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and toxicity concludes that BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group (including unborn children, infants and adolescents) at current exposure levels. Exposure from the diet or from a combination of sources (diet, dust, cosmetics and thermal paper) is considerably under the safe level (the “tolerable daily intake” or TDI).

Although new data and refined methodologies have led EFSA’s experts to considerably reduce the safe level of BPA from 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (µg/kg of bw/day) to 4 µg/kg of bw/day, the highest estimates for dietary exposure and for exposure from a combination of sources (called “aggregated exposure” in EFSA’s opinion) are three to five times lower than the new TDI.

Uncertainties surrounding potential health effects of BPA on the mammary gland, reproductive, metabolic, neurobehavioural and immune systems have been quantified and factored in to the calculation of the TDI. In addition, the TDI is temporary pending the outcome of a long-term study in rats, which will help to reduce these uncertainties.

Refined assessment of BPA toxicity

After weighing up a significant body of new scientific information on its toxic effects, the CEF Panel concluded that high doses of BPA (hundreds of times above the TDI) are likely to adversely affect the kidney and liver. It may also cause effects on the mammary gland in animals.

Studies indicating BPA as the cause of other health effects were less conclusive, stated Dr Trine Husøy,  member of EFSA’s expert Panel dealing with food contact materials (CEF Panel) and Chair of the BPA working group: “Effects on the reproductive, nervous, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems, as well as in the development of cancer are not considered likely at present but they could not be excluded on the available evidence. So, they add to the overall uncertainty about BPA-related hazards and therefore have been considered in the assessment.”

The Panel also assessed the possibility that BPA results in unexpected responses to different doses, e.g. adverse effects that are only induced by low BPA doses (known as ‘non-monotonic dose-response’ or NMDR relationships). The experts concluded that the available data do not provide evidence of such relationships for the health effects considered.

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