Common Questions and Concerns About BPA

Despite how much you’ve heard about BPA in the media, these reports often raise more questions about BPA’s safety than they answer because of conflicting information. Get answers to your questions about BPA exposure, and what scientific studies say about BPA.

Should consumers be concerned about exposure to BPA, including from canned foods and food stored in polycarbonate food containers?

Answer: There is no need for concern. Government bodies around the world have concluded that the levels of human exposure to BPA from all sources combined, including food packaging and containers, do not pose a risk to human health. Further, many studies have found that the amount of BPA that can migrate into foods and beverages from polycarbonate containers is minute. In fact, a consumer would have to ingest more than 1,300 pounds of food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate plastic each day just to reach the safe intake level set by U.S. government bodies.

BPA also is used to make epoxy linings that create a protective barrier in metal containers to prevent canned foods from becoming spoiled or contaminated with bacteria or rust. In fact, a consumer would have to ingest more than 500 pounds of epoxy-lined canned food or beverages every day to exceed the safe levels of BPA set by U.S. government agencies. Visit our Key Studies page to see the science and learn more about BPA and health.

Will I be harmed from BPA exposure from other sources such as eyeglasses or laptops?

Answer: There is no need for consumer concern about BPA exposure from other sources. In fact, recent data from the CDC and Health Canada show that total exposure to BPA, from all sources, is extremely low – about 1,000 times below the safe intake levels set by government bodies in the U.S. and Canada.

Further, while some receipts made from thermal paper can contain BPA, recent experimental data show very little BPA exposure from real-life contact with thermal receipt paper. Recent studies from the U.S. National Toxicology Program and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health revealed that cashiers handling thermal receipt paper throughout an eight-hour work shift were not exposed to high levels of BPA. Learn more about BPA and thermal receipt paper here. Visit our Key Studies page to see the science and learn more about BPA and health.

How much BPA do I come in contact with every day?

Answer: Scientists have found that day-to-day exposure to BPA is hundreds to thousands of times below the safe intake limit set by U.S. government authorities. In a study published in the scientific journal Environmental Pollution, scientists analyzed over 140 peer-reviewed studies containing over 85,000 data points from 30 countries to determine how much BPA people are actually exposed to and whether those levels pose a risk to health. Their analysis found that “[i]t is evident that the national and global estimated human BPA daily intakes in this study are two to three orders of magnitude lower than that of the TDI [Tolerable Daily Intake]…recommended by several countries.”

What happens to BPA in my body after I am exposed to it?

Answer: Scientific research shows that in humans BPA is efficiently metabolized in the intestines and liver and is quickly eliminated from the body. It does not accumulate in blood or tissues. From other scientific research, we know that because of how BPA is processed in the body, it is very unlikely that BPA could cause health effects from actual human exposure.

Are baby products made with BPA?

Answer: While a December 2016 study in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology, reported the presence of trace amounts of BPA in a range of baby teething products marketed as BPA-free, there is no known or expected use of BPA, or materials made from BPA, in baby teethers.

More importantly, however, this study focuses on the mere presence of chemicals, which does not equate with harm. In fact, according to the researchers themselves, the levels of BPA reported in this study are two to three orders of magnitude (100-1000 times) lower than the stringent European safe intake level.

Should I be worried about my child’s exposure to BPA?

Answer: It is understandable that parents can have special concerns about their child’s exposure to BPA based on media reports. Researchers at Harvard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrated in a study that even premature infants are capable or metabolizing and eliminating BPA from their bodies. Additionally, experts at Health Canada have concluded that “current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children.”

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