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New Study: Packaged Food Raises Levels of BPA

03.30.11 New Study: Packaged Food Raises Levels of BPA

bpa in canned food

Another important study came out this week again reinforcing the importance of avoiding the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA.  The good news is there are easy ways to go about this including eating fresh food and using safe food storage containers.  Below is a summary of the study and tips on how to reduce your exposure to BPA.

A new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives (covered in the SF Gate here) provides further evidence for forgoing canned foods. The study consisted of five Bay Area families (who answered a Craigslist Ad) who were asked to eliminate packaged foods from their diet and and to only store their foods in glass and stainless steel. The families, including 10 adults and 10 children, also agreed to a strict eating protocol of organic foods for only three days, because BPA metabolizes very quickly. In that short amount of time, their urine-tested BPA levels dropped by more than 60%. Levels of another chemical, DEHP, or bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, found in plastic food packaging, were also greatly reduced by more than 50%. Phthalates are linked to reproductive and other health concerns.

BPA is used in the linings of metal food cans, lids of some glass jars, and in polycarbonate plastic containers.  It is a hormone disrupting chemical that has been linked to a variety of health problems including birth defects, cancer, heart disease, reproductive problems and more. 

Janet Gray, author of the report and a science advisor to the Breast Cancer Fund, is optimistic from the findings. She notes, "We're hoping these very remarkable results will help us in our outreach and education to people to show them how easily changes can be made in their personal habits that may diminish significant exposure to BPA".

Even though BPA has a short lifespan in the body, we are constantly re-intoducing it to our systems.  It can also be found in things like receipts, soda cans and recycled cardboard pizza boxes that we are likely encountering often.  

The bottom line: You can drastically reduce the amount of BPA in your body in a very short amount of time with simple changes!

  • Use glass, stainless steel or silicone containers.
  • Opt for foods packaged in alternatives such as Tetra Pak cartons or glass jars.
  • Avoid canned foods with the highest BPA concentrations: coconut milk, soup, meat.
  • Never microwave food in plastic containers.
  • Choose frozen vegetables over canned.
Posted in: BPA
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