The European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU), in which the European Commission, the European Environment Agency and institutions from 28 countries participate, has already advanced some data on the levels of exposure of the European population to bisphenol A, one of the best-known pollutants, as part of its extensive research on exposure to some priority toxic substances and their possible effects on health. It is a substance usually associated with numerous types of plastic and the like.
As announced by the NGO Hogar sin Toxicos These first results reveal that “all the adults analyzed in Europe have bisphenol A (BPA) present in their body”. In addition, 50% of the people analyzed would also have the presence of other bisphenols, increasingly used to replace BPA, such as BPS and BPF (sometimes in high concentrations).
These are the conclusions after performing a total of 2,756 tests on individuals from 11 countries, in what is considered a representative sample of the entire population. Carlos de Prada, Director of Hogar sin Toxicos, considers it “disturbing” that, as stated in the aforementioned European Initiative for Human Biomonitoring, “all the European samples taken exceed the concentration that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) now considers recommendable , after last December he proposed to lower the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of the substance by no less than 100,000 times by finally deciding to take into account the scientific evidence.”
The initiative Toxic free homewhich already 10 years ago prepared a report-proposal in which it requested the authorities to ban the substance in all materials in contact with food, regrets that “despite the years that have passed, as the data from HBM4EU, the European population remains at risk for being continuously exposed to relevant levels of BPA”.
All this, he adds, “While years and years have passed in which only very limited measures have been taken to reduce exposure to the substanceas when in 2011 it was only banned in infant bottles in the EU while still allowing a wide exposure of the population, for example pregnant women, through the presence of the substance in many canned foods.
Bisphenol A has been associated with effects on neurodevelopment, low birth weight, effects on immune development, sterility, obesity and metabolic disease, risk of hormone-related cancer or cardiovascular disease.
European biomonitoring data continue to show that BPA levels are higher than some substances, such as bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF), that have been used to replace it. It is also worrying that the concentrations of these latter substances are increasing, since they could have some effects similar to those of bisphenol A. The HBM4EU document cites, for example, the concern generated by the exposure of cashiers to paper tickets thermal with the substitute BPS.
On the other hand, the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative highlights that the “cocktail effect” of different bisphenols to which a person can be exposed at the same time must also be considered “because BPA substitutes appear to show similar effects to BPA”, so that they can add their effects to those of this substance. They cite research showing that “combined exposures to bisphenols and other chemicals are associated with decreased semen quality in Western countries.”
As reported by Carlos de Prada, “the data obtained show something worrying, since the scientific community warns that, like other endocrine disrupting substances, these pollutants can cause negative health effects at very low concentrations. Moreover, they are substances for which a concentration level that can be stated as safe with certainty cannot be clearly established.”
Recently, the European Commission published its Roadmap for the restriction of many toxic substances and in which, among other things, the joint restriction or prohibition of different bisphenols is proposed.
It is a large group of more than 200 substances, of which it has been seen that at least 37 may have hormone-altering properties, so they can cause adverse effects at very low concentrations, according to experts. The best known of these substances is bisphenol A, although science has found that some bisphenols that have been used to replace it can also be problematic.
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