News 2015 / January

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Bisphenol A far from safe

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently released a report on the risks of bisphenol A (BPA to consumers).

The report concludes that the tolerable daily intake of the widely used endocrine disruptor BPA needs to be cut. Present levels of 50 micrograms per kilogram per body weight should be reduced to 4 micrograms EFSA says. It also emphasizes that there are considerable uncertainties in the exposure scenarios.

The media communication of the report, however, has another focus. Several outlets have chosen to focus on a portion of the report, which mentions that today’s threshold levels pose no threat to humans. This is somewhat confusing since EFSA’s recommendation is that the threshold of the arguably unsafe chemical BPA should be slashed. ChemSec fears that this miscommunication might cause progressive companies, who are already doing excellent work with phasing out BPA, to halt their progress.

In Sweden, however, nationwide grocery chain ICA claim their effort to phase out BPA remains unaffected by the report.
– This report will not change our efforts. Our decision to phase out BPA stems from concerns provided by our customers, says Eva Smith, environmental director at ICA, as quoted by Swedish paper Miljörapporten Direkt.

Furthermore, BPA is not the only problematic bisphenol. BPF and BPS are equally troublesome.
– ChemSec added bisphenol S and F to the SIN list last year due to their EDC properties. We therefore advice companies to be aware while phasing out BPA to not change to BPF or BPS instead, says Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist.

EFSA report on bisphenol A