Excessive exposure to BPA can have detrimental effects on human health. For example, it is widely known that BPA can have harmful effects on the human immune system, metabolism, nervous system, endocrine system, reproductive system and on the development of (the nervous system of) the unborn child.

What does lowering the health-based guidance value of BPA mean?

In 2015, the EFSA set the temporary health-based guidance value at 4 µg per kilogram of body weight per day. EFSA is a European agency that issues independent scientific advice on food-related risks. As early as 2016 , RIVM had concerns that BPA could be harmful to the development of the human immune system at lower quantities than previously estimated. This is why RIVM recommended that the guidance value be reconsidered at the time.

In 2023, EFSA established a new health-based guidance value for BPA: 0.2 ng/kg of body weight per day. Based on the recommendations issued by EFSA, European laws and regulations are drafted to protect consumers against food-related risks. European laws and regulations aimed at protecting consumers from food-related risks are based on recommendations issued by EFSA. European laws and regulations on how to protect consumers against food-related risks are drafted based on the recommendations issued by EFSA. EFSA relied on the latest scientific insights in establishing the new guidance value. These insights showed that BPA may be harmful to health in lower quantities than previously thought. The harmful effects in this case relate to effects on the immune system in an animal study.

This study from 2023 showed that BPA has an effect on the immune system at a lower exposure dose than had been shown in previous studies. This animal study was selected by EFSA to establish the guidance value. Other factors were taken into account when establishing the guidance value in addition to the results of the recent animal study. These factors included among others differences between humans and animals and differences between humans. (Read the publication: Re-evaluation of the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs.)

Not all international and national regulatory agencies are in agreement with EFSA on how the new guidance value was established. For example, the animal study was criticised, as well as the endpoint at which the new guidance value was established. In response to the draft EFSA report, RIVM asserted that the effects that were demonstrated in the animal study selected by EFSA were not suitable to be used to establish a guidance value for harmful effects in humans. This is because the effects in this animal study are not directly related to a change in the functioning of the immune system. RIVM believes that this animal study therefore provides no information as to whether this exposure to BPA leads to harmful effects on the immune system.