European Food Safety Authority’s re-evaluation of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and toxicity levels concludes that BPA poses “No health risk to consumers of any age group” (including unborn children, infants and adolescents). The evaluation concerns toxicity levels from food consumption, but comes inconclusive in terms of non-dietary sources of BPA.
Exposure was assessed for various groups of the human population in three different ways: (1) external (by diet, drinking water, inhalation, and dermal contact to cosmetics and thermal paper); (2) internal exposure to total BPA (absorbed dose of BPA); and (3) aggregated (from diet, dust, cosmetics and thermal paper).
Main results of EFSA’s 2015 risk assessment of BPA
– BPA poses no health risk to consumers because current exposure to the chemical is too low to cause harm. Based on new data and methodologies, EFSA has lowered the estimated safe level, known as the tolerable daily intake (TDI), to 4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. This is twelve and a half times lower than the previous level estimated by EFSA in 2006.
– The highest estimates for aggregated exposure to BPA from both dietary and non-dietary sources are 3 to 5 times lower than the TDI, depending on the age group. Dietary exposure is from 4 to 15 times lower than previously estimated by EFSA, depending on the age group.
– Based on animal studies, BPA at high doses (more than 100 times the TDI) is likely to cause adverse effects in the kidney and liver. It is also likely to have effects on the mammary glands of rodents. 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 TDI.
– The TDI is temporary (t-TDI) pending the outcome of an on-going long-term study in rats involving prenatal as well as postnatal exposure to BPA.