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Early life exposure to bisphenol A linked to the development of hyperactivity

New study findings confirm bisphenol A effect on brain development and highlight urgency to accelerate drastic reduction of human exposure to known endocrine disruptor.

Brussels, 7th March 2018 – A systematic review published today by US researchers (1) concludes that early life exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) is a presumed human hazard for hyperactivity, confirming the effect of the known endocrine disrupting chemical on the development of the brain.

The study is the first systematic review to date that assesses links between bisphenol A and hyperactivity using both animal and human data. It is based on the latest US National Toxicology Program protocol and on concentrations of BPA deemed safe at the US level. It comes in a context of ever-increasing prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in populations across the globe as well as questions about the role of exposure to environmental chemicals in the development of chronic diseases and related health costs (2).

The body of scientific evidence on the adverse health and environment impacts of BPA – even at very low doses - is already so significant that the European Chemical Agency recently listed it as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to its endocrine disrupting properties for human health and the environment (3). However, the European Commission and European Parliament recently missed an opportunity to fully ban BPA from food packaging, by only lowering the tolerable migration limit in the coatings and varnishes currently used (4).

Commenting on the study, Natacha Cingotti, Senior Chemicals and Health Policy Officer at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), said: “These findings add yet further urgency to accelerate the reduction of people’s exposure to BPA. By confirming the link between early life exposure and the development of hyperactivity, this study illustrates that there should be zero tolerance for BPA exposure among the most vulnerable parts of the population, such as pregnant, breastfeeding women and their newborns.

The practical implication should be that exposure to known endocrine disruptors such as BPA should be fully avoided at all costs in all relevant consumer items, with priority given to food contact materials, toys, or cosmetics, which are major channels for exposure. No exception should be made for recycled materials.”

The Health and Environment Alliance has long been advocating for the reduction of people’s exposure to widespread endocrine disrupting chemicals such as bisphenols. HEAL will continue to promote ambitious European legislation to protect Europeans from unnecessary health risks linked to environmental chemical exposure.

Notes to the editor


2. A recent study found that human exposure to preventable environmental chemicals is resulting in health costs of 10% of global GDP

3. ; _


Natacha Cingotti, Health and Chemicals Policy Officer,, mobile +32 492 948 898

Last updated on 9 March 2018

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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