European Food Safety Authority deems BPA safe

Following what it calls a “comprehensive re-evaluation,” the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found that dietary exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) poses no consumer health risk. Current BPA exposure levels, from diet or a combination of other sources, are too low to pose a danger to people of any age (including fetuses, infants and children), the agency has concluded.

The review was conducted by a BPA working group formed by EFSA’s expert panel on food contact materials. “The Panel decided to re-evaluate the safety of BPA because of the publication of a huge number of new research studies in recent years,” said Dr. Trine Husøy, the chair of the BPA working group, in an EFSA press release.

This risk assessment comes just a month after a similar announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which also declared BPA safe as it is currently consumed. Both agencies reviewed existing studies and scientific data on BPA to arrive at their conclusions.

EFSA also consulted with a wide array of national authorities and stakeholders during its risk assessment. It concluded that while BPA in very large doses is unhealthy, current consumption comes nowhere near those levels. “With significantly more and better data we have updated and more accurately estimated dietary exposure to BPA for all population groups,” said Dr. Husøy. “As a result, we now know that dietary exposure is four to fifteen times lower than previously estimated by EFSA, depending on the age group.”

This is EFSA’s first review of consumer exposure to BPA that considered both dietary and nondietary sources and covered all age groups. According to an EFSA fact sheet: “The overall conclusion is that BPA poses no risk to human health from foodstuffs because current levels of exposure are well below the t-TDI (temporary total daily intake) of 4 μg/kg of [body weight per] day. This also applies to pregnant women and to the elderly.”

The agency also announced that it had lowered the temporary TDI for BPA from 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day to four micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. However, the agency found that the highest levels of exposure to consumers are three to five times lower than the new, lower TDI.

Want more BPA facts? Click to read our article on the science behind the compound.