Endocrine Society Experts Applaud Proposed EU Limits on BPA in Food

The Endocrine Society praised the European Food Safety Agency’s (EFSA) decision to establish a strict limit on the amount of bisphenol A (BPA) that can be safely consumed daily.

BPA — a chemical that mimics the effects of estrogen on the body — seeps into food and drinks through plastics and other packaging. BPA has been linked to infertility, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and neurodevelopmental issues such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Because of widespread use of BPA in consumer products and other goods, people of all ages consume at least 150 times more than the new tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.2 ng of BPA per kilogram of body weight, on average, according to EFSA. Infants between the ages of six and 12 months and toddlers between the ages of one and three years old consume, on average, more than 4,200 times the tolerable daily intake.

“The revised tolerable daily intake reflects a large foundation of scientific information demonstrating that even exposure to extremely low levels of BPA can cause a variety of harmful effects, including on endocrine systems,” says Endocrine Society spokesperson Anne Simone Parent, MD, PhD, of the University of Liège in Liège, Belgium. “As researchers studying the impact of BPA and other chemicals on the body’s hormones, we are encouraged to see EFSA recognize the need for aggressive action to limit our exposure and protect public health.”

Diet is the primary source of BPA exposure for most people. People also can be exposed to BPA through other sources. Air, dust and water are potential sources of exposure.

While in a previous draft opinion EFSA proposed a slightly lower tolerable daily intake of 0.04 ng of BPA per kilogram of body weight, the final TDI sends a strong message to regulators that urgent action is needed to protect the public from exposure.

Research indicates exposure to BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals resulted in more than €157 billion a year in health care costs and lost wages.

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