20 March 2014

The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has voted unanimously to adopt a French proposal to strengthen the harmonised classification and labelling of bisphenol A (BPA) to a category 1B reproductive toxicant regarding the adverse effects on sexual function and fertility.

BPA already has a harmonised classification in Annex VI to the CLP Regulation as a substance suspected to damage fertility, that may cause respiratory irritation and allergic skin reaction, and as a substance that causes serious eye damage.

BPA is a monomer mainly used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins and is also currently being discussed in the context of other EU processes, for example the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has received a proposal to restrict the use of BPA in thermal paper. The RAC opinion, however, solely covers the adverse effects on sexual function and fertility as only these types of main reproductive toxic effects were proposed for revision by France.

A substance evaluation of BPA was carried out by the German Competent Authority in 2012 and, as a result of this evaluation, the ECHA issued a decision in December 2013 to request further data on BPA in the areas of skin absorption and environmental exposure.

At the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), a public consultation on the draft opinion on BPA — Assessment of Human Health Risks — has just closed. A follow-up meeting on the consultation is due to be held in April 2014.

The opinions will be available shortly via ECHA.