We knew it.
It really isn’t all that surprising.
It is shocking to see the numbers in black and white. But it isn’t surprising.
We knew that the US Centers for Disease Control found bisphenol A (BPA) in the urine of 93% of US adults. The CDC estimated that we are exposed to 6.3 micrograms of bisphenol A (BPA) each day from the lining of canned foods. We had prior reports of BPA in canned goods, most notably infant formulas.
But a just released report from the National Workgroup for Safe Markets, a coalition of US public health and environmental health focused NGOs shows 92% of the canned goods tested leach BPA into the foodstuffs they contain.
And eating common canned foods is exposing consumers to levels of BPA at levels shown to cause health problems.
In the study, food from 50 cans from 19 US states and one Canadian province were tested for BPA contamination. 92% of the cans tested had detectable levels of BPA, some at higher levels than have been detected in previous studies.
If you didn’t know, virtually all canned foods and beverages sold in the United States use an epoxy resin that contains BPA to protect against contamination. So, to avoid BPA, you can’t just skip polycarbonate (another source of BPA), you also have to think about your consumption of canned foods.
What is clear from the study is that the low levels of exposure add up.
BPA exposure is particularly of concern for pregnant women, for babies, and for children. Other reports have focused on BPA leaching from baby bottles and polycarbonate containers, so for this study  imagined a pregnant woman in her 20s, of average build (71 kg or 156.5 lbs) as the individual eating the meals  put together from different products tested. [The study] found that, just from eating the foods below, she could easily raise her BPA intake to levels known to cause health problems in animals (see detailed summary on page 10). For example:
- By eating a serving of canned peaches with breakfast, a can of ravioli for lunch, having a snack of a can of chicken noodle soup, chili for dinner, and using coconut milk in a dessert she could ingest 75.4 μg, or 1.06 μg/kg bodyweight of BPA;
- By eating a serving of canned peaches with breakfast, a can of lentil soup for lunch, and making tuna casserole with canned tuna, peas, cream of mushroom soup and vegetable broth for dinner, followed by bananas in canned coconut milk for dessert, a woman could ingest 87.28 μg, or 1.23 μg/kg bodyweight of BPA through canned foods alone; and
- By eating no canned goods in the morning and afternoon, and just one can of soda and a single serving of green beans at dinnertime, a woman could ingest 138.19 μg, or 1.95 μg/kg bodyweight of BPA.
So, if you do eat canned foods, go check it out. Look at how the products you use tested. One can of DelMonte green beans had the highest levels of BPA ever found in canned food, at 1,140 parts per billion.
If you want to avoid BPA in canned foods, Eden Foods offers certain canned foods in BPA-free cans. Also, you can choose fresh, frozen, dried or jarred (although if the glass jar has a metal lid, then the lid may have BPA in its lining). You can also choose items in plastic (although that may not be the greenest option). If you choose plastic, then don’t choose polycarbonate if you want to avoid BPA. Also, cardboard brick containers are usually BPA free.