The BPA Debate: Canned Goods

BPA (Bisphenol A) is once again a hot topic, and this time it is lurking in canned goods. In the past, it was in the news for being in plastics like water and baby bottles (and still is – check the labels before you buy!) and also printed receipts. Almost all canned goods are packaged in cans lined with BPA. The NY Times reports that in a Harvard study, people who ate one canned soup every day for five days had levels of BPA in their system rise by1,000%! Yikes!

Why Care About BPA?
According to Wikipedia, it exerts hormone-like properties mimicking estrogen, which have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system, negatively affecting things like fertility and the thyroid, increasing the risk for breast cancer, and affecting the growth of the very small — double yikes. The biggest offender is tomatoes, which I buy regularly because the acid in tomatoes increases the BPA leakage. In 2010, Canada declared BPA a toxic substance, and in the European Union and Canada, BPA is banned in baby bottles. I've always bought Born Free baby bottles because they are BPA-free.

Because I believe in reporting both sides of the story, I must share what Wikipedia reports:

Overall, empirical evidence supporting the negative health effects of BPA varies significantly across studies. Opinions vary greatly about the health effects of BPA. Some studies conclude that BPA poses no health risks while others state that BPA causes a number of adverse health effects. In general, the European’s Scientific Committee on Food, the EUs European Chemicals Bureau, the European Food Safety Authority, and the US Food and Drug Administration have concluded that current levels of BPA present no risk to the general population. However, experts in the field of endocrine disruptors have stated that the entire population may suffer adverse health effects from current BPA levels.Experts advise readers of scientific studies to consider who conducted the study, what their affiliations are, and what the purpose of the study was.

This article from the Mayo Clinic has mixed reviews as well, so it's hard to know as the consumer.
In my opinion, you never know if that's political or really true, so in the meantime, I prefer to steer clear of it if I can.

So, the way to avoid BPA is to: has an extensive list of items containing BPA (like toothpaste tubes and baby bottles) and alternatives you can buy. I found it to be very helpful! also has very detailed list of BPA-free can companies. also has some helpful tips!

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