Pretending Bisphenol A is safe

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has just reviewed its position on Biphenol A, also known as BPA, and says there is no risk for consumers’ health, though they admit that “There is a lack of supporting data on dermal exposure – for example, how much BPA the body absorbs through skin by touching thermal paper – which really increases the uncertainty of estimates from thermal paper and cosmetics”.

From Sinplástico, we want to point out some facts we should take under consideration before making an evaluation of this report:

  • First of all, this report acknowledges the exposure of people to Bisphenol A, but worringly says, the risk depends on where we put the safety threshold to be considered a danger to our health. In contradiction with it’s conclusion, EFSA has decided to reduce the safe level (“tolerable daily intake”) from 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (µg/kg of bw/day) to 4 µg/kg of bw/day. This does not reassure us on BPA safety.

  • In addition, we cannot forget that producers keep the composition of plastic materials secret, so it is quite bold to ensure that Bisphenol A is not risky for human health as it is never an isolated componant of plastics. This report does not include hazards caused by mixing Bisphenol A with over a hundred other problematic substances recently identified by the danish Environemental Protection Agency.

  • Furthermore, the EFSA study only takes into account daily intake and so is not presenting the accumulation risks of BPA consumption for human body.

  • Plastics Europe, management of the plastics manufacturing industry, has quite quickly reacted to this study asking the French government to withdraw restrictions on BPA. On our side, we do consider that the plastic lobby should, firstly, work on a policy of transparency and the safety of plastics we use on a daily basis because they are in contact with our food, hygiene products and cosmetics.

  • Finally, we must remember that hundreds of independent studies are claiming that BPA is dangerous. For example, lately, the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology has established that the exposure to bisphenol A during pregnancy can cause oxidative damage that may put the baby at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease later in life. They has also explained that it lowers male fertility.

In conclusion, we believe the precautionary approach has to be applied and that even the smallest risk has to be taken in consideration by Agencies which protect consumers. We consider studies must cover all the hazards linked to plastic additives, and not only to one single component, because otherwise, those reports may present a skewed result always shifted in favour of plastic lobbies.

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