On March 15, 2016 the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published the results of a Total Diet Study (TDS) carried out during 2012-2014 and assessing the dietary exposure of the Irish population to certain chemicals of potential concern. Among the chemicals of interest were heavy metals (e.g. cadmium, chromium, lead), essential nutrients, food additives, food contaminants such as acrylamide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticide residues, and food contact substances bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and phthalates. The study considered 147 foods and beverages representative of the normal diet consumed by the Irish population. Calculated exposure estimates were compared with health-based guidance values established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and the former European Union Scientific Committee on Food (SCF). In general, the TDS results showed that the Irish population is not at risk from chemical contaminants in the diet. Potential concern was identified regarding exposure to substances for which zero exposure is impossible: acrylamide, aflatoxins, and lead. However, these findings are not specific to Ireland, but rather of global concern, FSAI notes.

The U.S. chemical industry trade association American Chemistry Council (ACC), commented on the TDS’ finding that “exposure to BPA is of low concern.” ACC stated that “government bodies around the world have clearly stated that BPA is safe as used in food contact materials” and FSAI’s study “adds to the chorus of those who listen to the science.”

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FSAI (March 15, 2016). “FSAI publishes results of a total diet study.

ACC (March 16, 2016). “Study from Irish Food Safety Authority supports BPA safety.