The American Chemistry Council (ACC) last week welcomed the findings of a recent Irish study on dietary exposure to chemicals in foods.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) analyzed 147 foods and beverages representative of the normal Irish diet for a range of chemicals.

One of the chemicals analyzed was bisphenol A (BPA), a building block chemical that is primarily used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, which are widely used in consumer products such as protective coatings for food and beverage cans.

The study found that BPA was detected at low levels in 30 percent of the samples analyzed. The levels found in food were combined with food consumption data to estimate total dietary intake of BPA for both average and above average consumers. Comparison of these values with the most stringent health-based guidance value for BPA in Europe led to the conclusion that “exposure to BPA is of low concern.”

ACC said in a statement that the results and conclusion of the FSAI study are consistent with recent findings from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which stated in January 2015 that “BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group (including unborn children, infants and adolescents) at current exposure levels.”

“Based on compelling research, government bodies around the world have clearly stated that BPA is safe as used in food contact materials. This study from Irish authorities adds to the chorus of those who listen to the science,” said Steven G. Hentges of the American Chemistry Council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.

Other substances analyzed in the study included food contaminants such as acrylamide, mycotoxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); pesticide residues; and contaminant metals such as aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and tin.

Dr. Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive, said that the results of the study “do not give rise to any immediate concerns,” but the Food Safety Authority has identified a number of potential areas for further monitoring and action.

“These risks are of a global nature and are being addressed through legislation and other targeted measures by the European Commission, working in conjunction with European food safety agencies, including the FSAI,” she said.