83 percent of the German population is exposed to the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in quantities that are considered a health risk. This emerges from data presented by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

An EU study showed that in three of the eleven countries examined, all participants probably had BPA levels above the limit value that is considered safe. These are France, Portugal and Luxembourg.

Intake primarily through food

Bisphenol A is a synthetic chemical used in many products – including reusable water bottles, drinking water pipes, and plastic and metal food containers such as cans. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), IT is also found in smartphones and DVDs. People mainly absorb the substance through food, but air, dust or water are also possible sources.

According to the EEA, the burden on the population is well above acceptable safety levels. This poses a potential health risk for millions of people, the agency said. Even in small quantities, the chemical can weaken the immune system and can also lead to reduced fertility and allergic skin reactions.

Of the total of 2,756 study participants, depending on the country, 71 to 100 percent of those examined had BPA levels in their urine above the limit value. The reported values ​​are minimum values; there is even the possibility that in all eleven countries that took part in the study, 100 percent of the participants were above the safe limits. This raises significant health concerns for the wider EU population.

Greater health risk than previously thought

Leena Ylä-Mononen, director of the Copenhagen-based Environment Agency, wrote in a statement: “We need to take the results of this research seriously and take more action at EU level to limit exposure to chemicals that pose a risk to health of Europeans.” BPA is a much greater health risk than previously thought.

The EEA communication is based on data from an EU study on human biomonitoring. From January 2017 to June 2022, this collected data across Europe on the population’s exposure to chemicals and the associated effects on health.