BPA poses no health risk, European watchdog says
A collection of sport and baby bottles potentially containing compound bisphenol A is seen in North Vancouver, B.C. on April 18, 2008. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Marlene Leung, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, January 21, 2015 1:49PM EST
Amid several recent studies on the health risks associated with bisphenol A, the European Food Safety Authority is now concluding that BPA is safe for all age groups at current exposure levels.
The food safety watchdog released a re-evaluation of the health risks associated with BPA on Wednesday.
"EFSA concludes that BPA poses no health risk to consumers because current exposure to the chemical is too low to cause harm," the authority said in a factsheet.
While the authority determined that BPA exposure at current levels is safe, it noted that it had recently lowered the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of BPA from 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day to four micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day.
The watchdog said it lowered the TDI because of new methodology, not because of new health concerns. It also cautioned that the TDI is temporary, and may be readjusted when the results from studies from the U.S. National Toxicology Program are made available.
According to the EFSA, most people's daily intake of BPA is between three to five times lower than the newly reduced TDI.
The authority said it had conducted the re-evaluation in light of several studies in recent years that pointed to the health risks associated with the chemical.
Because of the prevalence of the chemical, BPA can be ingested or inhaled by consumers, as well as absorbed into the skin.
Previous studies have suggested that exposure to BPA may be linked to an increased risk for miscarriage, and childhood obesity.
Last week, a study from the University of Calgary found that BPA and a replacement chemical called bisphenol S (BPS) can cause alterations in brain development that can lead to hyperactivity in zebrafish.
After reviewing the latest studies conducted on animals, the EFSA concluded that doses of BPA that are hundreds of times above the recommended TDI are likely to impact the kidney and liver. It can also have effects on the mammary glands of rodents.
The authority said the possible effects of BPA on cancer, as well as the reproductive, nervous, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems are "not considered likely at present," but cannot be excluded. These uncertainties have been factored into the calculation of the TDI, the authority said.