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Cutting out canned, packaged foods can reduce exposure to BPA

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Eliminating canned foods from one's diet can help reduce exposure to bisphenol-A, or BPA, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

BPA is an ubiquitous, hormone-disrupting chemical found in water bottles, food storage containers, and the inside lining of food cans, and believed to cause a host of health problems, including birth defects, infertility and breast cancer. Last year, the FDA labeled BPA as a "chemical of concern" and announced a number of actions to assess the potential health and environmental effects of the chemical, but it did not ban the use of it in products.

For this study, five Bay Area families were asked to get rid of all canned food packaging from their diet and to store food in glass or stainless steel containers. After just three days, the family members' levels of BPA dropped an average of 60 percent. In an article in today's San Francisco Chronicle, Connie Engel, program coordinator for the Breast Cancer Fund and one of the study's authors, commented:

While it leaves the body pretty rapidly, we're reintroducing it constantly. If people can make these changes or we have political impact on food packaging, we may see people not constantly be re-exposed.

The Chronicle piece goes on to list other tips for reducing BPA exposure:

  • Use glass or stainless steel containers.
  • Opt for foods packaged in alternatives such as Tetra Pak cartons.
  • Avoid canned foods with the highest BPA concentrations: coconut milk, soup, meat.
  • Frozen fruits or vegetables may be a convenient alternative.
  • Do not microwave food in plastic containers.

Photo by JudeanPeoplesFront
Previously: Study shows BPA exposure may affect fertility of female offspring, FDA expresses concern over BPA - but doesn't ban it and Could BPA be linked to heart disease, too?

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