Consumers can be exposed to BPA via skin contact and oral uptake. BPA originates mainly from food contact materials, cash register receipts, house dust, toys and cosmetics. Consumer exposure to BPA does not exceed the current European standard for safe exposure.
BPA exposure of consumers predominantly comes
from food packaging material containing BPA. This includes plastic
materials used for storing food and beverages, plastic plates and
cutlery, plastic heat resistant bowls and pots, and plastic
coatings of food packaging materials including cans and cardboard.
For a number of these products, BPA-free alternatives are now available and
may reduce exposure. In 2011, the EU banned the use of BPA in plastic baby
Other sources of exposure
In addition, BPA exposure may
occur from contact with cash register receipts and cosmetics that
have been in contact with material containing BPA. Toys and house dust also contribute to
consumer exposure to BPA.
There are various measures to control consumer exposure to
BPA. For example, there are limits
on the amount of BPA
permitted to migrate from food packaging material and toys. Since
2011, the EU has banned the use of BPA in plastic baby bottles.
Based on the most recent data and the current European
standard, no adverse effects of BPA exposure are generally expected for
consumers. However, recent animal studies have indicated
possible adverse developmental effects on the immune system
at exposure levels lower than those used to derive the current
European standard. These findings give cause for concern for
exposure of the unborn child, infants and young children. Special
attention should therefore be given to protecting small children,
pregnant women and women who breastfeed.