Thursday, May 29, 2008

There's Bisphenol A Lurking in your Cans

The latest news on BPA is that many of these cans leach BPA into food - particularly those that have been heated with the product inside, to kill bacteria in food. It appears to be of particular concern for children because so many canned products are used for and by kids. There's been an analysis done on some canned products - you can see the list here.

The heating process is what drives particles of BPA into food. Testing was done after food was emptied, cans rinsed several times, and then filled with water. It showed up in the water after being heated, and to different degrees depending on the product.

A couple of months ago I contacted several canned food companies, Avon, Danone, and one other. I heard back from the first two. My question was, "is there BPA in the linings of the cans used for your product?" The answer I received from Danone was that their cans did not contain BPA. The company responsible for AVON canned peas and carrots replied that "there is no Bisphenol A used in our canned products". But on the CTV list of products used for the study, Del Monte's canned peas and carrots is listed there as one which leaches it into food. A third company did not respond at all.

The emphasis on the news items is for children because BPA has a cumulative effect. The chemical mimics the hormone estrogen and BPA exposure has been linked to a predisposition to prostate and breast cancer, as well as reproductive problems. The Globe also has an article on it from yesterday. We all likely have some level of Bisphenol A in our bodies. The good news is that not all cans have BPA in them at all. Also, pop cans are not so potentially dangerous since "soft drinks create such a harsh environment that microbes can't survive in them; as a result, while pop cans are also lined with a BPA-containing resin, heat sterilization isn't required." (Globe).

For more information here's a list of previous posts on BPA.

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