An international panel of experts has identified food as “by far the main source of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure,” although levels of chemical in the human body are “very low” and quickly eliminated through urine. The World Health Organization (WHO) and U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) announced the findings after more than 30 experts convened in Ottawa, Canada, to review the latest scientific data on BPA.

The panel apparently concluded that BPA migrates into food from food packaging, such as plastic containers, baby bottles and coated food cans. Other BPA sources–including house dust, soil, toys, dental treatments, and thermal cash register receipts–are “of minor relevance,” according to a November 9, 2010, joint WHO/FAO press release.

The panel reportedly noted, however, that “it is difficult to interpret the relevance” of recent scientific studies that have associated BPA exposure with adverse health effects, warning that “[u]ntil these associations can be confirmed, initiation of public health measures would be premature.” WHO toxicologist Angelika Tritscher was quoted as saying that the panel’s conclusions would be significant in directing further review of BPA. “Several important studies are already in progress that will help to clarify the extent of human health impact of this chemical,” she said. See WHO/FAO Press Release, November 9, 2010.