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Biological Sciences Division
Research Highlights

January 2015

Man trumps dog: Earlier assumption about BPA exposure confirmed

New human study shows oral exposure does not create risk for high BPA exposure

image of bowl of tomato soup
Canned foods like soup don't create a risk for high BPA exposure. Image courtesy of stu_spivack on Flickr. Enlarge Image.

Richland, Wash. - Coating the mouth with BPA-containing food, like soup, does not lead to higher than expected levels of BPA in blood, a new study in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology shows. The study authors conclude that oral exposure does not create a risk for high exposures.

BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is used to make some plastics and to seal canned food containers against bacterial contamination. Food, which picks up trace amounts of BPA from packaging, is the major source of human exposure.

Health concerns about BPA center on its potential to mimic certain hormones at really high exposures. But within the last month, the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reaffirmed their earlier decisions that BPA is safe as used in food packaging materials.

A 2013 study in dogs, however, focused attention on the possibility that their conclusions might be based on incorrect assumptions about how much BPA gets into the human body from food and beverages.

"Regulatory agency conclusions about the safety of BPA were questioned, with increasing frequency and intensity, after publication of the dog study," said toxicologist Justin Teeguarden of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, author of the current study in humans.

Read more in the PNNL news release.

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