The review is the first on exposure to BPA since 2006, with an updated risk assessment in 2011, and the first to cover both dietary and non-dietary sources.
The agency said it is seeking feedback from the scientific community and stakeholders on the draft assessment of human exposure to BPA.
Two stage process
EFSA announced a two-stage process with the exposure assessment to be issued in July for public comment, and a second stage in early 2014, during which it will publicly consult on the human health aspects of its risk assessment prior to finalizing its scientific opinion.
EFSA completed its full risk assessment of BPA as a food contact material in 2006 and set a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.05 mg/kg bw/day (or 50,000 ng/kg bw/day).
The PC/BPA groups of PlasticsEurope said its members support the comprehensive and transparent evaluation and encourage all stakeholders interested in a science-based assessment process to participate.
Industry must participate
Jasmin Bird of the PlasticsEurope Polycarbonate/Bisphenol A industry group, said: “It is in the interest of industry, critical stakeholders and consumers alike that EFSA’s process for reaching a decision considers public comment and that the final EFSA opinion on BPA is solidly grounded on a fact-based assessment of the weight of scientific evidence.
“An approach grounded in up-to-date and sound science, rather than politics, is the only one that can provide consumers with the reassurance that purchased products are safe and, at the same time, provide consumers with products that they need and that bring the highest value to their day-to-day lives.”
All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to submit written comments to 15 September on the draft assessment of consumer exposureperformed by the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel).
“When EFSA publishes its opinion on BPA – following consideration of comments received from these consultations – the Food Standards Agency will consider, along with the European Commission and EU Member States, whether action is necessary to protect consumers,” said the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Industry also notes that draft conclusion on exposure to BPA confirms the authority´s earlier findings that diet is the main source of BPA exposure, said PlasticsEurope.
EFSA said it has provisionally concluded that for all population groups diet is the major source of exposure to BPA and exposure is lower than previously estimated.
For all population groups above three years of age thermal paper was the second most important source after diet.
Data resulting from an EFSA call led to a refinement of exposure estimates compared to 2006.
“For infants and toddlers (aged 6 months-3 years) average exposure from the diet is estimated to amount to 375 nanograms per kilogram of body weight per day (ng/kg bw/day) whereas for the population above 18 years of age (including women of child-bearing age) the figure is up to 132 ng/kg bw/day,” said EFSA.
Scientists found dietary exposure to be highest among children aged three to ten (explainable by their higher food consumption on a body weight basis).
Canned food and non-canned meat and meat products were identified as major contributors to dietary exposure for all age groups.