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.