The European Food Safety Authority has proposed a lower tolerable daily intake (TDI) for bisphenol A, after finishing its long-awaited review of health studies into the chemical.
BPA, which is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate, has been the subject of hundreds of studies, some of which suggest a link with adverse health effects.
EFSA said in a statement released Jan. 17: "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 be lowered."
The TDI for BPA is currently 50 µg/kg bw/day (or 0.05 mg/kg/bw/day), which EFSA is now proposing to reduce to 5 µg/kg bw/day (0.005 mg/kg/bw/day).
EFSA has set this TDI on a temporary basis. This is because there are "uncertainties" over other health hazards considered as less likely. The TDI has been set on a temporary basis pending the outcome of research from the U.S. National Toxicology Program.
However, EFSA said the health risk for all population groups is low, including for fetuses, infants, young children and adults, as exposure to BPA is very low. EFSA said the highest estimates for combined oral and non-oral exposure to BPA are 3-5 times lower than the proposed TDI, depending on the age group. For all population groups, oral exposure on its own is more than 5-fold below the proposed TDI.
EFSA has launched a public consultation on its draft assessment and is inviting all stakeholders and interested parties to comment on the document. A deadline of March 13 has been set for submissions, which can be done at EFSA's website.