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Prescrire international

Bisphenol A: a body of evidence supporting exposure reduction.


PMID 24171222

Abstract

The "tolerable daily intake" of bisphenol A, established by the European and US regulatory agencies, is based on a small number of reproductive toxicity studies in animals, mostly funded by industry, using protocols that adhere to regulatory guidelines. Many scientists consider these regulatory toxicology tests unsuitable for the evaluation of endocrine disrupters, because they cannot be used to demonstrate the effects of low doses of bisphenol A, observed in dozens of independent studies. Results obtained in studies of high doses of bisphenol A have been extrapolated to predict the effects of low-dose exposure, according to the principle that "the dose makes the poison". The validity of this extrapolation is disputed. Some human studies suggest that bisphenol A causes coronary heart disease, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, and has harmful effects on reproduction and development. Considerable data from rodent studies suggest that low doses of bisphenol A affect reproduction, lipid metabolism and neurological development, usually following intrauterine or postnatal exposure. In France, the use of bisphenol A in infant feeding bottles has been banned since 30 June 2010, and in food packaging intended for children aged 0 to 3 years since 1 January 2013. The ban is due to be extended to all food packaging as of 1 January 2015. Bisphenol A is not the only substance present in food packaging that could interfere with endocrine function. Too little is known yet about the toxicology of bisphenol A substitutes. Several studies have shown that exposure to bisphenol A in adults and children can be greatly reduced by choosing a varied diet based on fresh foods, and by avoiding the use of plastic tableware. To reduce exposure to bisphenol A and other chemicals with hormonal activity that are present in food packaging, it seems reasonable to encourage the consumption of fresh foods, avoiding canned food and plastic packaging for storing and reheating food and beverages. These precautionary measures are most important for food and beverages intended for pregnant women and young children.