9 November, 2015

A recently published review of the carcinogenic properties of the plasticiser bisphenol A (BPA) recommends it should be classified as a human carcinogen.

The review, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, considered studies examining the effects of BPA treatment in vivo mammalian models. They found evidence that early-life BPA exposures increased susceptibility to mammary and prostate cancers.

BPA is used in polycarbonate plastic food and drink packaging and in epoxy resins that line some metal cans of food and drink. It is also used in thermal receipt paper. It can rub off on hands, leach into food and drink contents [ii] and is dermally absorbed through the skin. A significant amount of scientific evidence shows that even low exposure to BPA hurts the development of breast tissue.

Breast Cancer UK has long called for a ban on the use of BPA in food and drink packaging based on evidence that it has been found to hurt the developing mammary gland. A recent EFSA review of the chemical concluded that current levels of exposure to BPA were safe, despite acknowledging its potentially adverse effect on breast tissue. This latest review supports our concerns that BPA is unsafe at even very low levels of exposure and reaffirms the need to remove the chemical from food and drink packaging.

Read the full report here: A Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Bisphenol A. Reproductive Toxicology.


Seachrist, D. D. et al. (2015). A Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Bisphenol A. Reproductive Toxicology. Available online 19 October 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Seachrist+bisphenol

[ii] Brotons, J. A, et al. (1995). Xenoestrogens released from lacquer coatings in food cans. Environmental Health Perspectives 103(6): 608-612.


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