BPA in plastic

Our policy on the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic and the research and evidence that supports our understanding of BPA.
Last updated

BPA is a chemical that is used to make plastic materials.  Although there is scientific debate surrounding BPA's health effects on humans, we deem that it is a safe chemical for use in production of plastics.

BPA is a chemical used to make plastics including containers that come into contact with food. This includes refillable drinks bottles and food storage containers. It's also used to make some protective coatings and linings for food and drinks cans.

The level of BPA found in food is not a concern to health. Some people are concerned about BPA because tiny amounts of the chemical can be transferred from packaging into food and drinks.

The health concerns around BPA

BPA is one of a large number of substances that could possibly interfere with our hormone systems. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the evidence for this and found that dietary exposure to BPA is not a health concern for any age group.

The evidence that BPA is harmless

Scientists estimate how much of a chemical people can consume daily over their lifetime without being harmed by it. This is known as the chemical’s tolerable daily intake (TDI). BPA has a temporary TDI set for it.

We currently consume less than the TDI for BPA from sources such as food containers. We agree with the EFSA’s conclusion that BPA currently poses no risk to health.

Ongoing research into BPA

The National Toxicology Programme (NTP) in the United States of America is conducting a long-term study on BPA. It is looking at the effects of exposure to BPA in rats, before and after giving birth. This study will tell us more about whether BPA exposure could increase the risk of cancer in humans. It is expected to be completed in early 2018. Once the results of this study are known, the EFSA will again review the TDI for BPA.