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RIVM reveals BPA overview ahead of evaluation

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By Joe Whitworth+

Last updated on 03-Sep-2014 at 11:55 GMT

BPA is used in a variety of industries including food and beverage packaging
BPA is used in a variety of industries including food and beverage packaging

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has published the first part of a report into bisphenol A (BPA).

RIVM said part one is an overview of the possible risks for humans and the environment and that it is as yet unclear whether current levels of exposure are harmful.

Part two, expected in 2015, will evaluate scientific knowledge, discuss possible health risks and possibly propose further risk management measures in the country.

Policy advice will be based on this, which will indicate whether additional measures are required in the Netherlands to limit the possible risks of BPA for humans and the environment.

EU assessments due

Late 2014 or early 2015 various European assessments will be concluded, such as an opinion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission working on a criteria document to identify and define endocrine disruption which may affect BPA.

RIVM said the knowledge about possible endocrine disruptive effects on health is developing rapidly and preventive measures have been taken in the EU to reduce the risk of harmful effects.

RIVM is involved in a risk assessment from the Dutch Health Council (GR) to evaluate possible adverse effects related to prenatal exposure to chemicals and to assess possible low dose effects.

Included in the overview is EFSA’s proposed temporary tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day in a draft opinion from the 50 micrograms level set in 2006.

It also covers ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) adopted an opinion from France to strengthen BPA in March to a harmonised classification as a category 1B reproductive toxicant.

This has to be established via a REACH Comitology decision before it can be included in the CLP Regulation which will take place within the next one to two years.

RAC said at the time that classification focuses on the properties of the substance and does not take human exposure levels into account.

Under the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) for 2013-15 reaction product: bisphenol-A-(epichlorhydrin); epoxy resin is being evaluated by Denmark with a decision due in 2015.

In CoRAP for 2014-16, 4,4'-(1,3-phenylene-bis(1-methylethylidene)) bisphenol was a new entry to be evaluated by this year by Belgium.

Substances are distributed for evaluation to the Member States for which there is a suspicion that their manufacture and/or use could pose risks to human health or the environment.

EFSA panel to discuss BPA

Meanwhile, EFSA will discuss BPA at a meeting later this month.

The scientific panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing (CEF) will meet 23-25 September to hear data on a number of scientific outputs including the controversial chemical.

It is the first discussion on the draft full risk assessment of BPA taking into account the comments made during the public consultation processes.

The draft opinion on the risks to public health associated with BPA was moved to the end of 2014 from May because the panel needed time to review all the contributions received.

The second consultation referred to the draft assessment of BPA-related health risks for consumers, where the first consultation was held on the draft assessment of exposure.

Comments for the second part totalled 245 from 40 different parties, a sum almost identical to that received on the draft exposure assessment.  

In November there will be a second discussion of the draft full risk assessment by the panel and endorsement of the EFSA technical report on the outcome of the two public consultations. 

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