EU Science Hub

Bisphenol A - and baby bottles: challenges & perspectives

Despite the fact that for more than a decade many toxicological studies were carried out world wide, there is not yet a full understanding of the impact of Bisphenol A (BPA) on human health. As BPA may migrate into infant formula preparations from polycarbonate baby bottles, there is a special concern about its possible effect on the development of infants and young children. The potential endocrine disrupting properties of BPA trigger especially this discussion. Several risk assessment studies have been performed; nevertheless, there is still not yet a full agreement between all the risk assessors and the issue of BPA continues to generate discussion and is at the centre of political debate. Most of the debate arise from diverging opinions concerning the reliability and relevance of studies reporting effects at low doses, often carried out in university laboratories, without following international guideline criteria or good laboratory practices. However, some researchers believe that these criteria should not be used to select best available information. In principle, this controversy might be solved via a new series of globally agreed toxicological studies, possibly to be carried out under the supervision of a panel of independent experts, with the participation of both academic research laboratories and regulatory bodies. To raise the quality and reliability of results, it may be agreed to carry out proficiency testing campaigns prior to the performance of the study. This report provides an overview of the scientific issues which are at the base on the on-going discussions on BPA, by summarising the risk assessment activities carried out so far, having taken into account the latest scientific information available, and considering future challenges, such as the lack of information on some BPAfree plastics which may be used as substitutes for polycarbonate.