Bisphenol A (BPA)

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Contents

Summary

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic chemical that has many industrial uses including in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic, the lining food and beverage cans and thermal paper/cash register receipts. BPA has been used for more than 50 years and is approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with respect to food contact materials.

Radical environmental groups, including the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and activist-researchers like Fred vom Saal are scaring the public about BPA being an endocrine disrupter at very low doses.

Flawed Science

Summary

There is no scientific evidence that BPA:

  • Has ever harmed anyone despite 50 years of use;
  • Acts as an endocrine disrupter; and
  • Has any health effects at low doses.

See endocrine disrupters and low dose effects for more information on those topics.

Facts about BPA

Since BPA is one of the best tested substances it has a rich and robust database on (eco)toxicity, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and human exposure. More than 1000 toxicological studies on BPA have been evaluated by regulatory bodies around the world. There are two kinds of studies, the high quality, statistical robust guideline studies done under GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) which focus on the relevant route of exposure like food uptake and Non-guideline explorative studies. Studies of the second type are used very often to link BPA with potential risks for human beings. These studies have e.g. no or lacking quality control, use very often irrelevant routes of exposure and the observed effects are not reproducible under accepted scientific conditions.

The facts are:

  • BPA is not carcinogenic or mutagenic
  • BPA does not adversely effect reproduction or development at any realistic dose
  • BPA shows weak estrogenic effects only at extremely high dose levels never reached in daily life (comparable to natural phyto-estrogens in soybeans, carrots, tofu etc.) • BPA is efficiently “metabolized” and rapidly excreted after oral exposure. The “metabolites” have been shown to be non-estrogenic!!
  • BPA does not cause low-dose endocrine related reproductive or developmental effects in large scale robust guideline studies. Reported low-dose-effects have not been confirmed and replicated.

All the publications which claim link BPA exposure to e.g. cancer, early puberty, birth defects, miscarriage, diabetes obesity, heart disease, hyperactivity, neural behaviours, infertility are not supported by weight of scientific evidence.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) just recently (July 29, 2010) concluded after reviewing two studies about potential effects of BPA on neurological development and behaviour: “The studies by Stump et al. (2010) and Ryan et al. (2010) provide no indications for adverse effects of Bisphenol A on neurological development and behaviour.” The European Food Safety Authority EFSA apparently came to a similar conclusion regarding the Stump et al study in its preliminary statement published in July 2010, stating “The Panel has concluded that the study does not provide evidence of BPA affecting neurobehavioural endpoints included in the study design and would therefore not lead the Panel to consider changing the TDI (Tolerable Daily Intake) for BPA. Two new studies conducted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to “answer key questions and clarify uncertainties about the risks of BPA” are published from FDA’s research program. One of many positive and important results of the studies is that the findings come to the conclusion that studies involving non-oral exposure are of limited relevance to human health. All this studies again add to the weight of scientific evidence that consumers do not being concerned when using products made from materials containing small amounts of BPA.

Studies and Reports

Agenda

The anti-BPA attack is fueled by multiple agendas:

  • Radical environmental groups:
    • Are trying to undermine public confidence in businesses and government by attacking the safety of consumer products;
    • Hope to bully large corporations into begging for mercy and cutting deals with the activists that advance the green agenda.
    • Want to establish the dubious endocrine disrupters scare and low dose effects precedent so that many other chemicals/businesses can be attacked.
  • Trial lawyers are suing BPA makers/users, including a billion-dollar, class action suit filed in 2008.
  • Fred vom Saal would be a research nonentity without the BPA controversy.

Notable News

Doings of the Notable and Notorious

Debunking Library

BPA Overview

Government Reports

Articles

What You Can Do

TBD.

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