Bisphenol A: A Scientific Evaluation

Michael A. Kamrin, PhD

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In This Article

Abstract

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the production of high-volume polycarbonate and epoxy resin compounds found in a number of consumer products, including plastic bottles and the linings of canned goods. As a result of such applications, very small amounts of BPA can migrate into food and drink. In light of reports suggesting that low doses of BPA cause estrogenic effects in laboratory animals, concerns were raised about the safety of these consumer products, particularly plastic bottles used for feeding milk to babies. To evaluate the risk, if any, from BPA, investigations were undertaken to more precisely determine human exposure levels and more carefully study the validity of the low-dose effects reported. On the basis of the most realistic studies of BPA levels in food and drink, as well as in human urine, it has been estimated that human exposures, including those of children, are very low and range from about .001 to .1 mcg/kg body weight (bw)/day. The results of the additional toxicology studies indicated that the low-dose effects could not be consistently replicated. In light of this, a number of governments and agencies brought together independent expert panels to carefully evaluate the toxicologic studies and provide regulatory guidance. These panels came to a similar conclusion, namely, that low-dose effects have not been demonstrated. They also supported the acceptable daily intake levels previously calculated on the basis of high-dose effects shown in laboratory animals. Comparing these acceptable intakes with the best exposure estimates reveals that human doses of BPA from migration of the compound into food and drink are orders of magnitude lower than acceptable daily intakes. Thus, it is very unlikely that humans, including infants and young children, are at risk from the presence of BPA in consumer products.

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