1 December 2009
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an important chemical used primarily as an intermediate in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, which are used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. During the production process, the BPA molecules are firmly bound to one another to form the polymeric structure of the material itself. Thus exposure to BPA from polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin food contact applications is minimal.
Polycarbonate plastic has been the material of choice for baby bottles and reusable water bottles for decades because it is lightweight, highly shatter-resistant, and transparent.
BPA is one of the most widely studied compounds in the world, extensive safety research has been conducted over the past four decades providing a large database of toxicological and exposure data available to assess human health concerns. This was highlighted recently by the German government commenting that, “…For hardly any chemical are there as comprehensive and specific toxicological and exposure data, which makes a valid risk assessment possible and an accurate Tolerable Daily Intake estimation feasible …”
When updating the EU Risk Assessment for BPA in 2008, the European Commission and the representatives of the EU Member States identified no risk to consumers from products made from materials based on BPA.
The UK Department of Health reconfirmed the safe use of BPA-based food contact materials in a response to an inquiry from the UK House of Lords in June 2009, “… the FSA sees no basis, on the evidence we have, to press for tighter controls on the use of BPA, or for a ban on its use. Limits in place throughout the European Union, which the FSA has played a full part in establishing and maintaining, provide a precautionary margin of safety beyond expert assessment of the scientific evidence."
The UK Plastics Industry considers issues of chemical safety to be of paramount importance. BPA has been extensively studied and the British Plastics Federation supports the UK FSA view that no further precautions are required for BPA-based food contact materials and that BPA poses no risk to human health or the environment.