Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs
This opinion describes the assessment of the risks to public health associated with bisphenol A (BPA) exposure. 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, sum of conjugated and unconjugated BPA); and (3) aggregated (from diet, dust, cosmetics and thermal paper), expressed as oral human equivalent dose (HED) referring to unconjugated BPA only. The estimated BPA dietary intake was highest in infants and toddlers (up to 0.875 µg/kg bw per day). Women of childbearing age had dietary exposures comparable to men of the same age (up to 0.388 µg/kg bw per day). The highest aggregated exposure of 1.449 µg/kg bw per day was estimated for adolescents. Biomonitoring data were in line with estimated internal exposure to total BPA from all sources. BPA toxicity was evaluated by a weight of evidence approach. “Likely” adverse effects in animals on kidney and mammary gland underwent benchmark dose (BMDL10) response modelling. A BMDL10 of 8 960 µg/kg bw per day was calculated for changes in the mean relative kidney weight in a two generation toxicity study in mice. No BMDL10 could be calculated for mammary gland effects. Using data on toxicokinetics, this BMDL10 was converted to an HED of 609 µg/kg bw per day. The CEF Panel applied a total uncertainty factor of 150 (for inter- and intra-species differences and uncertainty in mammary gland, reproductive, neurobehavioural, immune and metabolic system effects) to establish a temporary Tolerable Daily Intake (t-TDI) of 4 µg/kg bw per day. By comparing this t-TDI with the exposure estimates, the CEF Panel concluded that there is no health concern for any age group from dietary exposure and low health concern from aggregated exposure. The CEF Panel noted considerable uncertainty in the exposure estimates for non-dietary sources, whilst the uncertainty around dietary estimates was relatively low.