ECHA Risk Committee Approves BPA Reclassification

27.03.2014 -

The Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has voted unanimously in favour of a French proposal to upgrade the classification of bisphenol A (BPA) as a presumed human reproductive toxicant to 1B.

BPA, the chemical used in production of the engineering plastic polycarbonate and in epoxy resins for can linings, was previously classified as a category 2 reproductive toxicant.

RAC stressed that the change pertains solely to the adverse effects on sexual function and fertility as proposed by France and has no broader scope. The Committee said had reached a consensus after comparing the EU's Classification, Labelling and Packaging CLP criteria.

The agency that administers REACH said its review of currently available research showed that there were adverse effects on functional fertility following oral exposure to BPA in a multi-generation guideline study in mice and rats. It noted, however, that classification is focused on the substance's intrinsic properties and not human exposure levels.

ECHA said it had also received a proposal to restrict the use of BPA in thermal paper such as that used in cash register receipts.