Bisphenol A (BPA) is a substance that occurs in numerous products, such as cash register receipts, building materials (paint and coatings), food packaging materials, toys and medical devices. Excessive BPA exposure is harmful to fertility and can affect the hormone system.
New studies show that BPA can impair the immune system of unborn and young children at a lower exposure level than the one on which the current standards are based. This lower level is roughly comparable to the current every day BPA exposure level of workers and consumers. As a result of this exposure, people could have a greater probability of developing food intolerances and could become more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Based on these new insights, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) advises the national government to reduce BPA exposure in the short term wherever possible. Special attention needs to be devoted to protecting small children, pregnant women and women who breastfeed. This is because developing unborn and young children are more sensitive than adults to the effects of BPA.
Ways to reduce exposure include developing safe alternatives or ensuring that less BPA is released from products. Additionally, workers can be protected against BPA exposure.
Lower exposure is also important for sediment-dwelling animals that experience adverse effects due to current BPA concentration levels.