Bisphenol A present in the bodies of nearly all Europeans

19 September 2023

The European Environment Agency reported that Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known for its potential to disrupt hormones and commonly used in food packaging, has been found in the bodies of nearly all Europeans, raising concerns about potential health risks.

A recent research initiative under Horizon 2020, known as HBM4EU, conducted measurements of chemicals in the bodies of individuals across Europe and detected BPA in the urine of 92% of adult participants from 11 European countries, the Agency wrote. These countries included Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Switzerland.

In the 11 countries studied, the percentage of adults surpassing the recommended maximum BPA levels, as outlined by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in an April review, ranged from 71% to 100%. In April 2023, EFSA had substantially lowered the recommended daily intake of BPA for consumers during the April review, reducing it by 20,000 times to a mere 0.2 billionths of a gram per kilogram of body weight per day, down from four millionths of a gram.

The European Environment Agency has therefore concluded that people’s exposure to BPA “exceeds acceptable health safety levels, according to updated research data,” which presents a potential health risk to millions of individuals.

The EU is increasingly concerned over the high-volume use of Bisphenol A in many consumer products and its impact on human health. People are exposed to BPA mainly through diet due to BPA being present in a range of plastics commonly used in packaging for food and beverages.

These findings are alarming. SAFE stresses that we had to wait for eight years before BPA intake levels were decreased by as much as 20,000 times. Several Member States have introduced bans on bisphenol A in food packaging for years now; ECHA already identified bisphenol A as an endocrine disruptor in 2017. Only in 2023 the European Food Authority established a new TDI which is around 20.000 lower than the previous one. We need a stricter approach on this issue.

Micro and nano plastics contain BPA and have contaminated soils and water for human consumption and irrigation. Contamination of fruits and vegetables through leaves and roots, as well as animal feed and water, is proven by numerous scientific studies.

SAFE continues advocating to phase out bisphenol A from all consumer products as soon as possible, as well as banning the chemical from products with which children come in direct and close contact.