The following statement can be attributed to Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D., of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of the American Chemistry Council. These comments address the decision by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) scientific panel, the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DART-IC), to list bisphenol A (BPA) on Proposition 65.
“We strongly disagree with the DART-IC decision to list BPA under Proposition 65 as a female reproductive toxicant. The decision is not supported by the extensive scientific record presented to the committee and is completely contrary to explicit input provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In April, FDA’s acting chief scientist submitted a letter to the DART-IC stating that the results of FDA’s own comprehensive research 'do not support BPA as a reproductive toxicant.'
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) believes that it is important to share clear, authoritative statements about BPA safety with consumers and manufacturers. In support of this objective, ACC today began a communications campaign to highlight recent conclusions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Since last December, EFSA and FDA, two of the most prominent science-based government bodies in the world, have clearly and unequivocally stated that BPA is safe as used in food contact materials and other consumer products. The ACC’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group has launched a communications and advertising campaign to share these scientific conclusions about the safety of BPA. The ads will appear in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and on a number of consumer, news and health websites. The ads encourage consumers and manufacturers to: “Listen to the Science: Experts Say BPA is Safe,” amplifying what the scientific experts have stated.
“Based on a comprehensive re-evaluation of BPA exposure and toxicity, EFSA’s scientific experts concluded that ‘BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group (including unborn children, infants and adolescents) at current exposure levels.’ EFSA’s overall conclusion is similar to recent statements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the safety of BPA.
“Going beyond previous assessments, EFSA evaluated exposure to BPA not only from food, but also from a range of other potential sources. Considering all exposure sources together, EFSA concluded: ‘BPA poses no health risk to consumers because current exposure to the chemical is too low to cause harm.’ EFSA further explained: ‘To be as open and transparent as possible, EFSA thoroughly consulted and engaged with national authorities and stakeholders during this risk assessment to ensure that the widest possible range of scientific views and information were considered.’
“In response to recent studies, which have suggested that BPA might be linked to effects such as heart disease, high blood pressure and other conditions, federal government scientists have been conducting in-depth studies on BPA.
“This comprehensive set of studies conducted by U.S. government researchers tells us a great deal more about the potential for BPA to cause health effects. For example, research funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the government’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, (Teeguarden et al.) found that, because of the way BPA is processed in the body, it is very unlikely that BPA could cause health effects at any realistic exposure level.
“Due to the use of unrealistic experimental conditions, much of the data presented in this new study has very limited relevance to the potential for human exposure to BPA from handling thermal receipt paper. Although downplayed in the publication, the most relevant data shows very little BPA exposure under conditions most representative of real-life contact with thermal receipt paper. “Notably, a recent study from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Porras et al., 2014) found no significant exposure to BPA from handling receipt paper using real-life exposure scenarios. Included in the Finnish study were conditions representative of cashiers (i.e., repeated handling of receipts throughout a workday) and more intensive short-term handling considered to be beyond normal handling of paper receipts.