More stringent European standards for safe exposure of workers and consumers to bisphenol A (BPA) were proposed in 2014 and 2015. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has concluded that new insights sufficiently warrant consideration of even more stringent standards and has recommended taking supplementary measures in the near future for a further reduction of BPA exposure.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a substance that occurs in numerous products. BPA is used in plastics for i.e. construction material, electronics, plastic bottles, (food) packaging material, toys and medical devices. BPA is also used as a base for epoxy-coatings, adhesives and in specific dental care products and as a dye developer in thermal paper, such as cash register receipts. Excessive BPA exposure is harmful to fertility and can affect the hormone system.
New animal studies show that BPA can impair the immune system of unborn and young children at a lower exposure level than the one on which the current standards are based. This lower level is roughly comparable to the current every day BPA exposure level of workers and consumers. As a result of this exposure during pregnancy and at a young age, children could have a greater probability of developing food intolerances and could become more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Based on these new insights RIVM advises to revisit the current European standards for safe exposure and to reduce BPA exposure in the short term wherever possible. Special attention should be given to protecting small children, pregnant women and women who breastfeed. This is because the developing unborn child, infants and young children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of BPA.
Ways to reduce exposure include developing safe alternatives or ensuring that less BPA is released from products. Additionally, workers can be protected against BPA exposure.