In an article published on September 5, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Susana Almeida and colleagues from the Research Center for Biosciences and Health Technologies, Lisabon, Portugal, reviewed “the most recent in vitro and in vivo studies on BPA [(bisphenol A, CAS 80-05-7)] toxicity and its harmful effects on [human] health,” with a focus on dietary exposure.
The scientists consider food intake to be “the most serious among all the [exposure] routes,” because “it potentially reaches more people in different age groups” and because “it inadvertently occurs over long time periods.” They summarize that “several studies have proposed a relationship between exposure to BPA and the appearance of adverse health effects,” with further research “still ongoing.” Among the adverse effects associated with BPA exposure, the authors highlight in particular “changes in neuronal development; changes in the reproductive system associated with decreased fertility; endocrine changes; metabolic, cardiovascular, and immunological diseases; damage to genetic material and cancer.”
Despite these studies, the European Union (EU) still “regards BPA as an authorized product to be used as food contact material,” the authors observe. This decision is based on a scientific opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2015 (FPF reported), which concluded that “there are variables that make it impossible to claim BPA as being toxic to human health,” such as “toxicokinetic differences between animal and human models, different tested routes of exposure, and the nonreproducibility of studies on larger scales in humans.”
As a recent example of new findings, the authors highlight a “meta-analysis [that] has found a relationship between early BPA exposure and hyperactivity in children” (FPF reported). They therefore call for “immediate actions to complete risk analyses in more sensitive populations,” such as pregnant women, infants, and children. They further inform that, despite some restrictions faced by food-contact-related industry, “global BPA industrial production is increasing and is forecast to grow by 4.8% by 2020.”
Almeida, S., et al. (2018). “Bisphenol A: Food exposure and impact on human health.” Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (published September 5, 2018).
Rochester, J., et al. (2018). “Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A and hyperactivity in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Environment International 114:343-356.