The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, ANSES, has recently released its comprehensive report on the toxicology of several members of the bisphenol family. The most prevalent of these is bisphenol A (BPA), which is ubiquitous in many plastics, and has come under scrutiny in recent years for its suggested “low-dose” effects on hormones and reproductive development.

The expert panel identified four laboratory animal studies on BPA which showed no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) of ≤ 100 μg/kg bw/day for a range of developmental effects. After the application of an uncertainty factor of 300, and adjustment for bioavailability, these corresponded to human ‘toxicological values’ [the French equivalent of a tolerable daily intake] of ≤ 0.01 μg/kg bw/day. However, the panel noted that there are uncertainties as to whether the critical effects observed in laboratory animals really do occur in humans, and questions about the dose response (it has been argued that BPA does not follow the conventional monotonic dose-response relationship). There was also felt to be a need to “better characterise the human bioavailability value for BPA (by oral and especially dermal routes)”. In light of the very low toxicological values, the Agency is taking steps to immediately reduce the exposure of the general population to BPA.

The panel also reviewed the literature on seven other compounds: bisphenols AF, AP, B, F, S and M, and bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE). Of these, bisphenols AP, F and S are considered as potential substitutes for BPA. The Agency concluded that no risk assessment of these compounds is currently possible due to inadequate information on toxicology, use or potential exposures. However, it was recommended that the “greatest care” be taken when using this class of chemical, due to their structural similarity to BPA.

Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire alimentation, environment, travail (ANSES). [Evaluation of the risks of bisphenol A (BPA) to human health.] March 2013. [In French.]

http://www.anses.fr/sites/default/files/documents/CHIM2009sa0331Ra-0.pdf [full report]

http://www.anses.fr/sites/default/files/documents/CHIM2009sa0331Ra-0EN.PDF [summary in English]

 

The above item was taken from the June 2013 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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