Health The EU warns about food exposure to BPA: containers where this dangerous...

The EU warns about food exposure to BPA: containers where this dangerous substance is found

The dietary exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) poses a health problem for consumers of all age groups, as concluded by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) dependent on the European Union in a recent report.

Following a thorough evaluation of the new scientific evidence available and a public consultation, the agency’s scientific experts have detected Potentially harmful effects on the immune system.

BPA is a chemical used for years to make plastics and resins. When it is present in food packaging, it can be transferred in very small amounts to the food and beverages they contain.

Previous evaluations have already indicated that bisphenol A, a known endocrine disruptor, at high doses, probably could cause adverse effects on the kidney and liver as well as in the mammary glands of rodents. It has been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children, obesity, diabetes and infertility. However, it does not produce DNA mutations or damage the embryo.

Although the mechanisms for this could not be identified, these studies concluded that a relationship with adverse consequences in the reproductive, nervous, immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems could not be ruled out, nor in the development of cancer.

The recent analysis now points to a new impact on health.

“In studies we have observed a percentage increase in a type of white blood cell, called a T helper, in the spleen”says the doctor Claude Lambre, President of the EFSA Technical Committee on Materials in Contact with Food, Enzymes and Processing Aids.

These play an essential role in cellular immune mechanisms “and an increase of this type could give rise to the development of allergic lung inflammation and autoimmune disorders”he explains in a press release.

These conclusions are the result of years of reviewing a large number of scientific publications, including more than 800 new studies published since January 2013.

tolerable daily intake (TDI) 20,000 times lower.

As a result, the Commission has carried out a more than significant reduction in the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of BPAthe amount that can be ingested daily throughout life without presenting an appreciable risk to health.

EFSA scientists established a TDI of 0.2 nanograms (0.2 billionths of a gram) per kilogram of body weight per day, replacing the temporary level adopted in the 2015 revision of 4 micrograms (4 millionths of a gram) per kilogram of body weight per day. The newly established IDI is about 20,000 times smaller.

“The reassessment of the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for BPA by EFSA highlights the vulnerability of society to the use of toxic chemical compounds,” warns in The vanguard Ethel Eljarrat, CSIC researcher.

“It took 8 years to establish a tolerable daily intake 20,000 times lower than what we thought safe until now. And the most worrying thing is that, during all this time, we have been and are exposed to levels much higher than those now recommended“he emphasizes.

Comparing the new TDI with estimates of consumer exposure to BPA in food, EFSA concludes “that people from all age groups with medium and high exposure to BPA exceed the new TDI, a reason for health concern.

“A number of variables can influence a person’s overall health risk, including other stressors on the human body, genetics, and nutrition,” the study adds.

An updated exposure assessment was not carried out, but the one carried out in 2015 was taken as a reference. Based on these data, exposure through the diet was then estimated as the main source of exposure to bisphenol A in all groups of the population. population and age ranges, accounted for 78-99% of the total. After that would come the thermal paper and the dust.

So, the dietary exposure to bisphenol A was higher among infants and young children (group from 0 to 3 years). This is due to the unequal relationship that exists between body weight and food consumption in this range.

Containers that expose you to BPA

Between the food products containing BPA there are reusable plates, plastic bottles, the inside of cans of preserves and drinks.

As the EFSA recalls, it is used, for example, in polycarbonate plastics, a type of transparent and rigid plastic used to manufacture water dispensers, storage containers and reusable drink bottles. It is also used to produce epoxy resins used to make protective coatings and sheets for cans and vats of beverages and food.

BPA is a chemical added in the manufacture of PC plastics. This material is used in turn to make containers such as tableware (plates and cups), microwave utensils, kitchen utensils and tanks for water dispensers.

Beyond food containers, can be found in epoxy resin-based paints, medical devices, surface coatings, printing inks, flame retardants, toys and pacifiers with PC protectors, and used paper for purchase tickets, public transport tickets or fines.

It is also found in clothing, especially in clothing. polyester and elastane.

Among the measures taken, the EU currently imposes a limit on the amount of BPA that can be released from toys. It also prohibits its use for the manufacture of feeding bottles. Since 2020, the EU also imposes the progressive substitution of receipts made on thermal paper that contain this chemical substance.

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