There is an ongoing debate and public concern about effects of
endocrine disruptors (EDs) on human health and the environment.
In that context, the substance Bisphenol A (BPA) is often mentioned
as an example; the public seems to be convinced that “BPA is an
ED”. This document provides factual background and explains
why Bisphenol A in realistic exposure levels is not a threat to the
endocrine (hormonal) system.
What is the endocrine system?
The endocrine system is commonly known as
the hormonal system. Hormones are important
messenger-substances produced in the body´s
glands. Hormones regulate, among others, metabolic
processes, growth, reproduction and development
in a very complex way. The endocrine system is
naturally prepared to cope with the various external
and internal factors influencing the hormonal system.
What are endocrine active substances?
Substances that can interact with the hormonal
system are called endocrine active substances. Such
substances naturally occur e.g. in carrots, soy beans
or coffee. There are also some synthetic chemicals
that are endocrine active.
What are endocrine disrupting substances?
There are some endocrine active substances which
can induce an adverse effect by influencing the
intact hormone system. These substances are called
Is BPA an endocrine disrupting substance?
BPA shows weak estrogen-like activity, and can therefore be considered
an endocrine active substance. There is reliable scientific evidence that
Bisphenol A does not cause endocrine disrupting effects at realistic human
intake levels. Also the European Food Safety Authority EFSA stated that
“based on the WHO criteria, it was not considered possible to conclude that
BPA is an endocrine disruptor.”
BPA – a substance of very high concern – what does that mean?
Identification of “substances of very high concern” (SVHC) under REACH
is a hazard-based approach, i.e. it is based on the intrisic properties of a
substance, without considering real life exposure. An identification as SVHC
due to alleged ED properties for human health and the environment therefore
does not determine whether current uses of BPA pose a risk.
More information on BPA:
Polycarbonate/Bisphenol-A Group PlasticsEurope
© PlasticsEurope · Endocrine Disruption · 160620