Content

Introduction

Introduction

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been produced since the 1960s and is a chemical substance widely used in all industrialized countries.

It is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics (very popular for their transparency, thermal and mechanical resistance properties), used in food-grade containers, and in the epoxy resins that make up the internal protective coating present in most food and beverage cans. .

Uses in the non-food field range from thermal receipt paper to dental devices.

Risks to health

Risks to health

BPA is considered an endocrine disruptor, that is, a substance capable of damaging health by altering the endocrine balance, especially in the development phase inside the uterus and in early childhood.

Experimental studies, and also a growing number of epidemiological studies (ie on the "incidence of certain diseases in the human population), indicate that BPA has estrogenic effects, therefore able to" mimic "the action of estrogens (hormones" female ") which have a vast influence on reproductive function, but also on other functions of the organism.

Therefore, BPA can alter the development of the reproductive, nervous and immune systems.

In the adult, the toxicity of BPA seems modest, however, the fetus and the neonate, due to their small size and less ability to metabolize, could be much more vulnerable.

The increased risk of obesity and breast cancer are particularly worrying effects recently identified by experimental research.

The results of the studies on BPA are sometimes contradictory: however, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has considered that the evidence is overall sufficient to consider BPA capable of damaging reproductive function and acting as a endocrine disruptor.

Due to the numerous uses of the substance, in the food and non-food field, the population is exposed to Bisphenol A. In particular, BPA can pass in small quantities from the containers that contain it to food and drinks, especially if the materials are not perfectly intact. and are used at high temperatures.

In Italy, the PREVIENI project on biomonitoring of endocrine disruptors, coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), has demonstrated widespread exposure in the population.

In Europe, the most comprehensive assessment of food and environmental exposure to BPA was published in 2015 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In this assessment, EFSA reduced the "tolerable daily dose"For BPA from 50 to 4 micrograms per kilo of body weight per day; despite this, EFSA concluded that - after the BPA ban in baby bottles - exposure levels in Europe were below a risk threshold, even for potentially more vulnerable population groups such as children. However, as the substance continues to be subject to new investigations, EFSA stands ready to review and update its assessment.

Regulation of Bisphenol A

Regulation of Bisphenol A

Like other endocrine disruptors, BPA has been subject to restrictive measures by the European legislator.

Since 2009 it has been included in the "list of prohibited substances in cosmetic products (Regulation (EC) 1223/2009); since 2011 its use is prohibited for the manufacture of polycarbonate bottles for infants (Regulation (EU) 321/2011).

More generally, the classification of BPA as toxic for reproduction and endocrine disruptor places it among the "substances of particular concern" according to the criteria of the European regulation on chemicals REACH; these substances are destined to limitations of use and, wherever possible, to the substitution with less harmful substances.

In-depth link

In-depth link

Ministry of the Environment and Land and Sea Protection - Higher Institute of Health (ISS). Know reduce prevent endocrine disruptors. A decalogue for the citizen

Higher Institute of Health (ISS). LIFE EDESIA

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Bisphenol A

European Chemical Agency (ECHA). Understanding the REACH regulation

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