According to a recent study, people may be routinely exposed to the dangerous chemical bisphenol A through the everyday consumption of canned foods. Specifically, the study conducted by consumer and food safety advocates, discovered that 46 of 50 grocery store cans tested contained detectable levels of BPA. Consequently, food safety and consumer advocates are calling for a crackdown on companies that use the chemical in the construction of their products’ containers, including a food safety bill set to reach Senate debate in the coming weeks.
Bisphenol A is used in plastics and in the lining of tin cans. It has come under increased scrutiny in recent years because of its ability to mimic human hormones and interrupt the endocrine system, leading to various health effects from breast cancer to obesity. Furthermore, the Endocrine Society issued a scientific statement in 2007—the first it has ever issued—because of concerns over the effects of BPA on humans.
Five states have already limited the amount of BPA allowed in infant formula cans and baby products such as bottles because of concerns that exposure can lead to developmental delays in infants. Moreover, while consumer advocates are backing moves by Congress to ban BPA, the North American Metal Packaging Alliance argue that “BPA has been used for over 30 years” and that governments in Japan, Australia and Europe have concluded that BPA is safe from humans at low doses.