Continuing its commitment to transparency and openness, EFSA will launch a public consultation in July on its draft scientific opinion on the possible risks to public health of bisphenol A (BPA), a substance used in food contact materials. By extending the timeline for the final adoption of its opinion to November 2013, EFSA’s scientific experts will also be able to consider the results of ongoing scientific work on BPA at European and national level while completing their comprehensive risk assessment.
In October 2012, EFSA met with European and national experts to share and exchange information about ongoing work and risk assessments on BPA. In the short-term, these include an upcoming risk assessment of BPA on human health in France by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses) and a report by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) on the assessment of the human health risks deriving from the use of BPA in medical devices.
In February 2012, following further consideration of new scientific studies, the CEF Panel decided to undertake a full re-evaluation of the human risks associated with exposure to BPA through the diet, also taking into consideration the contribution of non-dietary sources to the overall exposure to BPA. Besides reviewing all the available data and scientific studies on dietary exposure published since EFSA’s 2006 Opinion, the Panel is further evaluating uncertainties about the possible relevance to human health of some BPA-related effects observed in rodents at low dose levels.
- BPA is a chemical used to manufacture plastics and resins that may be used to make polycarbonate food containers or protective linings for food and beverage cans.
- EFSA completed its full risk assessment of BPA in 2006 and set a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.05 mg/kg body weight/day for this substance. The TDI is an estimate of the amount of a substance, expressed on a body weight basis, that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without appreciable risk. EFSA also evaluated intakes of BPA through food and drink, for adults, infants and children and found that they were all well below the TDI. EFSA has updated its scientific advice on BPA several times since 2006, most recently updating its risk assessment in 2011.