A European Food Safety Authority evaluation has found the use of BPA in plastics does not cause harm

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) latest evaluation of bisphenol A (BPA) has concluded that at current levels of exposure the chemical does not pose a health threat to any age group.

BPA is used to make clear, shatterproof plastics for drinks bottles and food containers, as well as the epoxy resins that line food tins. This has prompted concerns about potential exposure to the chemical, which has been shown to mimic oestrogen in the body. It has been banned for use in baby bottles in several countries including Canada, the USA and the EU, although regulators have acknowledged there is a lack of concrete evidence to support this.

EFSA said its latest assessment used ‘new data and refined methodologies’. While the ‘tolerable daily intake’, or safe level, of BPA has been lowered considerably from 50µg to 4µg per kilogram of body weight per day, the average exposure through diet is still three to five times lower than this level. ‘With significantly more and better data we have updated and more accurately estimated dietary exposure to BPA for all population groups,’ EFSA’s BPA working group chair Trine Husøy said in a statement. ‘As a result, we now know that dietary exposure is four to fifteen times lower than previously estimated.’

EFSA also said it will reconsider the safe level once more when the results of research on BPA by the US National Toxicology Program have been released, which will be in two to three years.