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Posted by on in Policy/Regulatory Support
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France Bans the Intentional Use of BPA in Consumer Products

Posted on behalf of the author, Whitney Christian


The assessment of data on the safety of BPA by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has prompted its ban, effective January 1st, 2015. However, companies with existing stocks of BPA-containing materials will be allowed to expend those stocks after January 1st as a means of phasing-out BPA from production. France's ban contrasts the recent conclusion of EFSA, which upholds the safety of BPA in current uses for consumers of all ages. ANSES and EFSA scientists used different methods or data to analyze the safety of BPA or reached opposing conclusions based on the same information.

France's General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) stated that the ban applies to "finished" food-contact materials, including containers, packaging, and utensils containing BPA that directly contact food in products sold to consumers. Some examples include: kitchen utensils, tableware, household appliance parts, receptacles, cans, bottles, water cooler jugs, wrapping films, papers and other objects for household packaging.

DGCCRF said that intermediate products that require transformation as well as industrial equipment and materials used for production, storage, and transportation of foodstuffs, such as vats, tanks, cisterns, silos, tubing and hoses, and industrial tools for baking are exempt. In addition, materials separated by a barrier that prevents migration of BPA into foodstuffs, such as inks located on the outside of cans, as well as secondary and tertiary packaging are excluded. Furthermore, the ban does not apply to materials that unintentionally contain BPA, which may present a problem for products manufactured from recycled materials.

BPA's ban is anticipated to affect French industries, but also European Union imports into France. PlasticsEurope, one of the leading European trade associations, is also concerned that the use of BPA alternatives, which have not been extensively researched, could result in unwanted health effects to consumers.

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Ms. Luda Kopelovich is a Senior Associate Health Scientist with Cardno ChemRisk. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis where she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, and also a bachelor’s of art degree in Russian.  She received her MPH from University of California, Berkeley in 2015.  At Cardno ChemRisk (formerly ChemRisk, LLC), Ms. Kopelovich is regularly involved in litigation support, literature reviews, and exposure assessment. Her training includes risk assessment, dose reconstruction and evaluation, and environmental and occupational epidemiology. Additionally, she has been involved with assessing occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure to various chemicals, including asbestos, silica, diacetyl, benzene, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

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