For the past few years, BPA has dominated the health news headlines. The chemical compound, also known as bisphenol-A, became public enemy #1 when consumers began to realize that the compound found in everything from baby bottles to grocery store receipts had also been linked to health issues ranging from reproductive disorders to ADHD to asthma. Consumers protested, boycotted, and made their voices heard until market forces took action and BPA-free products began popping up on every aisle. But now, a European Task Force has released a finding that BPA is perfectly safe for humans.
BPA belongs to a class of chemicals known as endocrine disrupters. Its ability to simulate certain hormones in the body led many to worry that exposure to the chemical could lead to potential health risks.
But according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), BPA exposure does not pose any health risk to humans of any age. "EFSA concludes that BPA poses no health risk to consumers because current exposure to the chemical is too low to cause harm," the EFSA noted in a statement. The agency concluded that for most people, the average exposure to BPA is three to five times lower than the "tolerable daily intake," (TDI) a number set by the European agency at four micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day.
Agency officials conceded that ingestion of BPA by humans is likely to occur through foods and drinks that have been packaged in BPA-lined cans and containers. They also noted that exposure to extremely high doses of BPA — around 100 times the TDI — could affect the liver, kidneys and mammary glands. But the agency asserted that the level of exposure for most people is too low to be considered harmful to health.
The U.S. banned BPA from baby bottles in 2012, but said there was not enough evidence for a wider ban of the chemical in other products.
What do you think about the EFSA's new ruling? Does it change your opinion?
Related on MNN:
- Which food companies don't use BPA-lined cans?
- BPA: Is plastic poisoning our food?
- How can I avoid BPA?