In a move that opens up the BPA debate even further, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that it is opening a public consultation on its assessment that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) is of ‘low-risk to consumers’.
EFSA reviewed over 450 studies relating to potential health hazards associated with BPA and identified likely adverse effects on the liver and kidney and effects on the mammary gland as being linked to exposure to the chemical. It therefore recommends that the current tolerable daily intake (TDI) be lowered.
However, the findings concluded that BPA poses a low health risk to consumers as exposure to the chemical is well-below the recommended temporary TDI. The Authority has undertaken a comprehensive review of scientific literature and previous risk assessments from expert bodies on BPA. All stakeholders and interested parties are now invited to comment on the document through an online public consultation that runs until 13 March 2014. EFSA said that it particularly welcomes input from national risk assessment bodies that have previously evaluated BPA.
Specifically, EFSA recommended that the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for BPA be lowered from its current level of 50 µg/kg bw/ day (or 0.05 mg/kg/bw/day) to 5 µg/kg bw/day (0.005 mg/kg/bw/day) and be set on a temporary basis.
Despite this call, the authority elaborated to say that the health risk for all population groups is low – including for fetuses, infants, young children and adults. This is because the highest estimates for combined oral and non-oral exposure to BPA are 3-5 times lower than the proposed temporary TDI, depending on the age group. For all population groups, oral exposure on its own is more than 5-fold below the proposed temporary TDI.