Warning over chemical in food as EU officials rule current ‘safe’ limit is 20,000 times too high

Warning over chemical in food as EU officials rule current ‘safe’ limit is 20,000 times too high

Urgent health warning over toxic ‘gender-bending’ chemicals in food as EU officials rule current ‘safe’ limit is 20 THOUSAND times too high

Health chiefs have today issued a fresh warning about the sky-high levels of toxic ‘gender bending’ chemical found in food and drink — saying millions are probably consuming too much.

Bisphenol A is found in swathes of water dispensers, food containers and reusable bottles because it makes plastics more flexible and harder to break.

But the ‘gender-bending’ chemical, also called BPA, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.

EU officials have now said the current level of recommended BPA exposure via food and drink is 20,000 times too high.

Officials made this decision after reviewing 800 new studies.

BPA is most widely found in refillable drinks bottles and food storage containers, as well as the protective coatings and linings for food and drinks cans (stock image)

This included one in mice that suggested high exposure to BPA could cause the immune system to mistakenly attack the body.

Concerns have raged for years about BPA leaking from packaging directly into food and drink and potentially damaging the body.

EU watchdogs previously ruled in 2015 that a safe daily exposure, through the small amounts leaking from plastic packaging, was 4 micrograms per kilogram of a person’s body weight.

But experts from the bloc’s European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have now revised this down to 0.2 nanograms per kilogram per day.

With a nanogram representing a billionth of a gram, this means the new safe figure is 20,000 times lower than the old limit.

What is bisphenol A?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in plastic containers and water bottles, on the inside of food cans and in till receipts.

The chemical, used since the 1960s to make certain types of plastic, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen.

Tiny amounts of the chemical can be transferred from packaging into food and drinks.

It has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.

The chemical is banned in Europe from use in baby bottles and plastic receipts.

France has gone one step further and banned its use in all food packaging, containers and utensils.

EU experts estimated that all age groups are, on average, exceeding the safe BPA threshold ‘by two to three orders of magnitude’.

Britain currently follows the old EU BPA safety level enacted in 2015, which carried over after Brexit.

These rules restricted the use of BPA in baby bottles as well as containers for infant formula both in the bloc and in Britain.

Dr Claude Lambré, chair of the EFSA’s panel on food contact materials, enzymes and processing aids, said their analysis helped unpick BPA’s toxicity.

‘In the studies, we observed an increase in the percentage of a type of white blood cell, called T helper, in the spleen,’ he said.

‘They play a key role in our cellular immune mechanisms and an increase of this kind could lead to the development of allergic lung inflammation and autoimmune disorders.’

The EFSA report says mice in which this effect was observed were exposed to a equivalent dose of a human having 8.2 nanograms of BPA per kilogram of weight per day.

EFSA experts also identified how BPA could have potentially harmful health effects on the reproductive, developmental and metabolic systems.

They noted that thanks to efforts brought in 2015 by EU legislators people’s average exposure to BPA had likely been reduced, making their estimate of exposure levels ‘conservative’.

EFSA’s findings now officially go on to the European Commission, which could enforce a new limit on BPA use across the bloc to protect consumers.

France has already banned BPA use in all food packaging, containers, and utensils over health concerns.

#Warning #chemical #food #officials #rule #current #safe #limit #times #high

What’s your Reaction?