BPA in plastic
What Bisphenol A (BPA) is and the research and evidence that supports our understanding of BPA.
BPA is a chemical used to make rigid plastics, including food storage containers and refillable drinks bottles. It's also used to make some protective coatings and linings for food and drinks cans. It cannot be used on items intended to be used by infants and young children such as infant feeding bottles and beakers.
Where it is allowed to be used, tiny amounts of the chemical may be transferred from some packaging into food and drinks, however the level of BPA detected in food to date in the UK is not currently considered to be harmful. We are currently considering new evidence in relation to BPA.
BPA safety assessments
Some people are concerned about BPA because it’s one of a large number of substances that could possibly interfere with our hormone systems. Extensive assessments have been carried out on BPA and new data is being reviewed.
Food contact material legislation currently sets restrictions on BPA which manufacturers are obliged to meet. Under the precautionary principle, more stringent conditions have been set in that BPA should not transfer into foods from articles intended for infants and young children.
Our independent scientific advisory committees are currently evaluating latest evidence in relation to BPA in food. The FSA will consider if current restrictions in relation to BPA will need to be updated once the evaluation has been completed.
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). In the UK, BPA currently has a temporary TDI set for it.
See the latest updates from the Committee on Toxicity (COT) of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment.