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Public exposure to widely used Bisphenol A exceeds acceptable health safety levels

The EU is increasingly concerned over the high-volume use of Bisphenol A in many consumer products and its impact on human health. People are exposed to BPA mainly through diet due to BPA being present in a range of plastics commonly used in packaging for food and beverages. In April the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) published its latest scientific opinion re-evaluating the risks to public health due to exposure to BPA. It also concluded that there is a current health concern from dietary BPA exposure, especially from canned food goods, which was found to be the most important exposure source for all age groups. 

EFSA concludes that BPA can damage the human immune system at very low doses. This comes in addition to a number of previously discovered harmful effects on human health such as endocrine disruption, reduced fertility and allergic skin reactions. 

The latest HBM4EU human biomonitoring data supports EFSA’s conclusion that there is a health concern for Europeans from exposure to BPA. Human biomonitoring provides actual measurements of total internal exposure resulting from multiple sources of exposure. The biomonitoring data on Bisphenol A levels in human urine show that exposure is still too high, despite the different regulatory measures that have been introduced since 2015.

More information on the human biomonitoring research

The European human biomonitoring project, HBM4EU, was conducted from January 2017 to June 2022. It generated Europe-wide, harmonised human biomonitoring data on the occurrence of chemicals in the European population and associated impacts on health.

Bisphenol A and two other bisphenols used as substitutes for BPA (bisphenol S and bisphenol F) were measured in urine from 2,756 adults from across 11 countries, namely Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland, representing north, east, south and west Europe.  In the countries that participated in the biomonitoring for BPA, the level of exceedance varied between 71% and 100%. Population exposure to BPA in Europe is therefore too high and constitutes a potential health concern.

It should be noted that the limit of quantification of the analytical methods used to monitor BPA in human urine is above the human biomonitoring guidance value (HBM-GV). This means that the reported exceedances are minimum numbers; the probability exists that actually, all 11 countries have exceedance rates of 100% exposed above safe levels.

Source: European Environment Agency



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