Plastic bottles – are they really safe?

A statement given six months ago by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that human exposure to a key chemical used in modern plastics, bisphenol A (BPA) was well within safety limits and posed no immediate health risks, despite previous links to breast and prostate cancer and a range of developmental problems. However, now international researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found BPA deposits in human tissue, at 10 times the acceptable concentration levels.

The team reviewed more than 700 studies, and found that levels in human tissue could reach 0.5mg per kilo of body weight, 10 times higher than the safety level set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US.

Lead author Frederick vom Saal told New Scientist magazine that the effect of this “extensive and continuous exposure” to BPA could not be dismissed as harmless, and that it is “unacceptable” for the EFSA to continue to pretend that BPA is safe.

He now plans to investigate the original EFSA report to discover if it was influenced by external interests, an allegation which the Authority has strongly denied.