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European Union Reaffirms Safety Of Bisphenol A

by Britt E. Erickson
January 26, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 4

The controversial plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) poses no health risks to consumers of any age, including unborn children, at current levels of exposure, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concludes in a comprehensive reevaluation. The agency took into account BPA exposures from diet, dust, cosmetics, and thermal paper cash register receipts, all of which were under the safe level even when combined. New data and improved analytical methods prompted EFSA to drop the safe level of BPA from 50 µg/kg of body weight per day to 4 µg/kg per day. Even so, estimates for BPA exposure from all sources combined were significantly lower than the new safe level. EFSA plans to reconsider the safe level in two or three years, when the results of a long-term study by the U.S. National Toxicology Program are available. That ongoing work aims to address many uncertainties about the toxicity of BPA, including its effects on the mammary gland and reproductive, metabolic, neurobehavioral, and immune systems. EFSA experts concluded that high doses of BPA—hundreds of times the safe level—are likely to affect the kidney, liver, and mammary glands in animals.


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