The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavorings and Processing Aids (CEF) has issued a scientific opinion finding that bisphenol A (BPA) poses “no health concern for any age group from dietary exposure or aggregated exposure.” Published January 21, 2015, the scientific opinion assessed exposure in three ways: (i) “external (by diet, drinking water, inhalation, and dermal contact to cosmetics and thermal paper”; (ii) “internal exposure to total BPA (absorbed dose of BPA, sum of conjugated and unconjugated BPA)”; and (iii) “aggregated (from diet, dust, cosmetics and thermal paper), expressed as oral human equivalent dose (HED) referring to unconjugated BPA only.”

Using new data and methodologies, EFSA previously established a temporary tolerable daily intake (t-TDI) for BPA at 4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, from 50 μg/kg bw/day. This latest scientific opinion confirms that the highest estimates for human exposure to BPA “are three to five times lower than the new TDI,” with infants and toddlers having the highest estimated intake from dietary sources (up to 0.875 μg/kg bw/day) and adolescents the highest aggregated exposure (1.449 μg/kg bw/day). Estimated dietary exposures for women of childbearing age and men were the same (up to 0.388 μg/kg bw/day).

In addition to analyzing the potential health risks of BPA at current exposure levels, the CEP Panel used data from animal and human studies “to identify any health effects associated with exposure to BPA.” It noted, however, that many uncertainties remain about dermal exposures from non-dietary sources. “With significantly more and better data we have updated and more accurately estimated dietary exposure to BPA for all population groups,” said the chair of the BPA working group, Trine Husoy. “As a result, we now know that dietary exposure is four to fifteen times lower than previously estimated by EFSA, depending on the age group.” Additional details about the t-TDI appear in Issue 551 of this Update.