European Food Agency stands firm on bisphenol A risks

The European Food Safety Authority has reviewed its assessment of the safety of human exposures to the oestrogenic plastics intermediate bisphenol A.1

This follows recent opinions by US and Canadian science panels that current exposures may present a health risk especially to foetuses and infants (ENDS Report 400, p 31 ).

Migration of the compound from food contact materials - such as epoxy resin can linings and polycarbonate baby bottles - is a major exposure route. But EFSA’s panel on food additives and food contact materials regards the current tolerable daily intake of 0.05 milligrams per kilogram bodyweight per day adequate to protect human health.

Its argument is that the metabolism of bisphenol A in humans is different than in rats, which have been used to model its metabolism. The panel says there is sufficient metabolic capacity even in new-born babies to metabolise the chemical to non-oestrogenic forms. Foetuses will be protected by the mother’s metabolic capacity.

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