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Study: Nearly 40% of Canned Goods Still Contain Gender-Bending BPA Chemical

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an endocrine disrupting chemical that is ubiquitous within our society. It was removed from baby bottles, sippy cups, and most cans of baby formula a number of years ago. But a recent study found that a lot of food packaging still contains the gender-bending substance.

Recently, the Center for Environmental Health tested more than 250 cans purchased at supermarkets and dollar stores for BPA in California, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Most of the cans were purchased at Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway, Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only.

Nearly 40% of the containers were found to contain the chemical. And while that’s less than 2 years ago, when it was 67%, it’s not exactly a small amount. [1]

The study found that 36% of Albertson’s, and 33% of Kroger’s “private label” food cans tested positive for BPA.

Charles Margulis of the Center for Environmental Health said:

“It’s still much too high. We need to get it down to zero.” [2]

BPA is used in the lining of cans, and some research indicates that low levels of it can seep into food.

According to the FDA, the current levels of BPA in food are safe. However, California recently added the substance to its Proposition 65 list as a chemical known to cause reproductive toxicity.

Margulis said:

“BPA is known to cause birth defects, and it’s also linked to breast cancer, obesity, and many other serious health problems.”

Those facing the greatest health risks from BPA exposure may be low-income citizens who often rely on canned foods. The study revealed that more than half of the cans purchased at 99 Cents Only contained BPA. Past studies show that low-come communities have higher levels of BPA in their bodies than the rest of the population. [1]

Margulis commented:

“In many areas, dollar stores are the only places can go for fruits and vegetables.” [2]

Read: Are You Living in a Food Desert?

His advice is simple: buy fresh organic produce whenever possible.

BPA Facts

Source: Chemical & Engineering News

BPA is a synthetic hormone which mimics the female hormone estrogen, earning the chemical its reputation as a “gender-bender.” It has been associated with infertility, breast and reproductive system changes, and early puberty. [3]

Aside from hormonal and reproductive problems, BPA may also cause obesity, diabetes, behavioral changes in children, and resistance to chemotherapy treatments.

How to Reduce BPA Exposure

It’s virtually impossible to completely avoid BPA, but there are things you can do to reduce your family’s exposure:

  • Purchase baby formula in plastic, glass, or other non-metal containers. Choose powdered formula whenever possible, since the packaging contains less BPA, and the powder is diluted with fresh water. If you must buy your baby liquid formula, look for brands sold in plastic or glass containers, or one’s that explicitly say “BPA Free.”
  • Look for canned food labeled BPA-free, or buy food packed in glass jars or waxed cardboard cartons.
  • Repurpose old baby bottles, cups, dishes, and food containers marked with the letters “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all #7 polycarbonates contain BPA, but some of them do.
  • Never microwave food in plastic containers.

As much as 40% of store receipts may be coated in BPA as well, according to the Environmental Working Group. The chemical can rub off on hands or food items, and may be absorbed through the skin.

Source: Forbes

You can also limit your exposure to BPA through store receipts:

  • Say no to paper receipts when possible.
  • Keep receipts in an envelope.
  • Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
  • Wash your hands before preparing and eating food after handling a receipt.
  • Don’t recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues contaminate recycled paper.

Sources:

[1] Center for Environmental Health

[2] CBS News

[3] Environmental Working Group

Chemical & Engineering News

Forbes


Storable Food

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