|Bisphenol A Myths
Myth: Hundreds of studies have linked BPA to a large number of serious diseases.
Reality: Bisphenol A (BPA) has been safely used for decades, and it has been the subject of many scientific studies. Research is ongoing. The weight of scientific evidence clearly supports the safety of BPA and provides strong reassurance that there is no basis for human health concerns from exposure to low doses of BPA.
However, the issue is not the quantity of studies, but their quality and the scientific value they provide to consumers. Studies are different, and are not of the same quality. Some are conducted according to internationally recognized standards that ensure methodological and statistical reliability and others are not. Government regulators have the responsibility of reviewing all studies and considering issues like study design and quality and whether the result of any particular study was repeated in other studies.
In the United States, the agency charged with this review for food contact applications is the FDA. In January 2010, FDA stated that "studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA" and did not take regulatory action.
Furthermore, a recent assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed-for the third time since 2006-that BPA is safe for use in products that come in contact with food.
The EFSA's panel of expert scientists critically analyzed more than 800 studies on BPA, including numerous studies that examined low doses of BPA. The Panel's conclusions stated: "they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise the current Tolerable Daily Intake for BPA of its 2008 opinion." Tolerable Daily Intake is defined as a daily oral exposure that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime.
Recent studies from the U.S. CDC and Health Canada have shown that typical human exposure to BPA, from all sources, is more than 1,000 times lower than this safe intake level. Consumers would have to eat more than 500 pounds of food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate plastic or epoxy resins every day of their lives to exceed the exposure levels determined to be safe by the EFSA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
With regard to specific diseases, the greatest concern about relationship to disease has been raised regarding cancer. Numerous studies indicate that bisphenol A is neither carcinogenic nor mutagenic. Most notably, these include lifetime animal studies conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, which concluded that "there was no convincing evidence that bisphenol A was carcinogenic" (NTP Technical Report on the Carcinogenesis Bioassay of Bisphenol A. National Toxicology Program. 1982. Technical Report Series No. 215. Summary and full report available at: NTP). Government and scientific bodies worldwide have affirmed this conclusion in their comprehensive assessments of bisphenol A.
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