The body’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) made the call as it highlighted the absence of a consensus on the risks posed by BPA to human health despite the numerous assessments carried out by regulatory agencies, institutions and experts across the world over the last decade.
In its report - Bisphenol A and baby bottles: challenges and perspectives – the JRC also provides an overview of the results from various risk assessments and pinpoints the areas of uncertainty.
The study explains the presence of BPA in polycarbonate bottles, epoxy linings in food and drink cans and food containers, as well as other sources such as dental sealants, means human exposure to the chemical is widespread.
Call for co-operation
The authors said that most of the uncertainties over the risks posed to humans by the substance stem from the “diverging opinions on the reliability of studies carried out with different methodologies, which result in contradictory interpretation of the data to date”.
A major source of dispute has been the insistence by regulatory bodies in using only studies that have followed international guidelines and good laboratory practice (GLP). But some researchers have challenged this view, saying that findings should not be considered invalid if studies don’t comply with these. Others have been more critical and said adherence to these guidelines is insufficient to guarantee scientific reliability – and gone further by saying studies using GLP that were used as a basis for decision-making were fundamentally flawed - “using out of date protocols, insensitive animal strains and would have other conceptual and methodological flaws”.
Barely concealing their exasperation, the report authors suggest that such controversies could be avoided if studies were carried out based on globally harmonised test programmes and subject to scrutiny by an international and independent panel of experts.
“In all cases, co-operation and synergies between academia and regulatory bodies in the area of regulatory toxicology should be sought for and promoted to get the best scientific contribution out of both players,” said the report.
The report also calls for more attention to be paid to BPA-alternatives – particularly as countries such as Denmark had banned introduced a limited ban and many companies were voluntarily phasing out its use.
It also calls for evaluation of the potential risks from endocrine disrupting chemicals in general and raises questions over the validity of traditional principles in their risk assessment. It asks whether it is correct to assume the existence of a threshold for certain effects and whether or not the severity of an effect increases as a result of increasing doses.
Read Bisphenol A and baby bottles: challenges and perspectives by clicking HERE