Ottawa was the venue back in November 2010 for a Joint FAO/WHO expert meeting that reviewed the toxicity of bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used in food-contact plastics (including food containers and baby bottles). As described in the summary report of this meeting, various toxicological studies looking at ‘conventional’ end-points have reported adverse effects only at BPA doses that are much higher than anticipated human exposures (typically a no-observed-adverse-effect level of 5 mg/kg bw/day has been cited for such animal tests). However, some studies published in the past decade have provided evidence for additional health effects at considerably lower BPA doses (typically 0.002-0.2 mg/kg bw/day), which are close to estimated human exposures and hence of some concern. There has been much controversy over the biological significance of these more sensitive end-points (which include effects such as sex-specific neurodevelopment and preneoplastic changes in the mammary glands and prostate), and the FAO/WHO experts have attempted to shed further light on this difficult issue. Having assessed the available data, they believe that “while it would be premature to conclude that these evaluations provide a realistic estimate of the human health risk, given the uncertainties, these findings should drive the direction of future research with the objective of reducing this uncertainty.”

[Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. World Health Organization. Joint FAO/WHO expert meeting to review toxicological and health aspects of bisphenol A. Summary report including report of stakeholder meeting on bisphenol A, 1-5 November 2010. Ottawa, Canada. Accessible at on the FAO’s website.] {186845}

The above item was taken from the February 2011 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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