EU court confirms BPA as substance of ‘very high concern’

EU court confirms BPA as substance of ‘very high concern’

The General Court of the European Union confirmed this week that bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical additive in plastics and thermal paper receipts – must be listed as a substance of 'very high concern' given its toxicity for human reproduction.


The Court upheld a decision by the European Chemicals Agency, or ECHA, to identify the substance, which has been used in the manufacture of plastic products such as water bottles, food containers and receipts. BPA is already banned in the EU for some products – such as baby bottles – due to concerns about its effects on the hormonal and reproductive systems.

ECHA is the driving force among European regulatory authorities for implementing chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment. One of ECHA's tasks is to identify and list substances of very high concern—substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, very persistent and bioaccumulative, or that give rise to a similar level of concern.

Once listed, compounds could become subject to further regulation and restrictions.

"This case was not about whether bisphenol A is toxic for reproduction or not – there is no doubt about the dangers this substance poses for humans and the environment," said Apolline Roger, legal and policy advisor at ClientEarth, which intervened before the Court to support ECHA's decision.

"This case was about industry lobby group PlasticsEurope attempting to fight the obligation of its members that sell or use BPA to tell their supply chain and consumers about its dangers."

SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
Support good science journalism
From our Newsroom
environmental justice

LISTEN: Black histories and visions of urban planning

We need to center "lived experience and desire in a way that our existing frameworks don't allow for."

ski wax PFAS

Workers exposed to PFAS in a variety of industries

From construction to skiing, PFAS are an important, but understudied, source of on-the-job chemical exposure.

1872 mining law

Peter Dykstra: The steal of the last century and a half

The General Mining Law of 1872 turned 150 this month. It hasn’t changed a bit.

environmental justice

Op-Ed: Black gold and the color line

How historical racist redlining practices are linked to higher exposures to oil and gas wells.

PFAS Testing

Investigation: PFAS on our shelves and in our bodies

Testing finds concerning chemicals in everything from sports bras to ketchup, including in brands labeled PFAS-free.

Words of wisdom from three leaders in the environmental health and justice field

Words of wisdom from three leaders in the environmental health and justice field

A Q&A with Black and Latina researchers about health equity research and career advice for early career scientists.

Stay informed: sign up for Above the Fold
The most consequential news on your health and the planet: delivered to your inbox every morning. (Weekly roundup also available)