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No health risk from BPA at current levels: European watchdog


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January 21, 2015 by Canadian Plastics

The chemical bisphenol A (BPA), used to stiffen some plastic food containers, poses no health risk to consumers of any age, including unborn children, at current levels of exposure, according to Europe’s food safety watchdog.

In a new re-evaluation, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found that consumer exposure to BPA was “considerably under” the safe level known as the “tolerable daily intake”, or TDI. After weighing up “a significant body of new scientific information on its toxic effects”, EFSA’s expert panel concluded that high doses of BPA – hundreds of times above the TDI – were likely to adversely affect the kidney and liver, and might also cause effects animals’ mammary glands. But at current levels – which it said were often three to five times lower than the TDI of four micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day – it found “no consumer health risk from [BPA] exposure”.

BPA is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of food contact materials such as re-usable plastic tableware and can coatings (mainly protective linings). Some studies have suggested possible links to everything from cancer to heart disease to infertility to kidney and liver problems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned BPA from baby bottles in 2012, but said there was not enough evidence for a wider ban and found the chemical safe at low levels. Also in 2012, Health Canada decided that BPA was not harmful at current exposure levels.

For more on the EFSA’s BPA assessment, click on this link.