A recent study published in Environmental Research has stated that many canned goods still have high levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), and consuming them can put our bodies at risk. The new data also points out that some foods expose consumers to higher levels of BPA in their food.
As an example, the study points out that canned soups and pasta contain a much higher concentration of BPA than canned fruit and vegetables. However, canned beverages and fish are, oddly enough, not tied to the consumption of BPA.
Material for this study came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, examining 7,669 people between 2003 and 2008 over the age of six. Researchers studied the data and what the person reported eating in the past 24 hours. A urinary sample was taken, which can help indicate BPA levels in the body.
Those who had one canned item had a BPA level of 24 percent higher than those who had not had any canned items in the past day. Two canned items could result in a 54 percent higher BPA level. Soup could also account for 229 percent higher BPA level, while pasta could result in a 70 percent higher BPA level.
“9% participants consumed one canned food and 2% two or more on the previous day.
- One canned food vs. none was associated with 24% higher urinary BPA concentrations.
- ≥2 canned foods vs. none was associated with 54% higher urinary BPA concentrations.
- Some canned foods (vegetables, fruit, pasta, soup) were associated with higher BPA.
Canned beverages were not associated with urinary BPA concentrations.”
The study concluded:
“Canned food, including some specific types such as canned vegetable and fruit, canned pasta, and canned soup were associated with higher levels of urinary BPA concentrations.”
Deborah Kurrasch, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine said:
“I am not surprised by these research findings, as others have shown that consuming canned foods is one of the highest routes of exposure to BPA.”
The Problems with BPA
But why is BPA so harmful to the body? Postdoctoral research fellow and lead author on the study, Jennifer Hartle, explains:
“BPA exposure is associated with many adverse health effects including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, reproductive development issues, amongst others.”
While scientists say that consumers don’t necessarily need to ditch canned foods altogether in order to avoid their BPA risk, they can purchase more items not produced in cans, instead opting for fresh fruits and plastic packaging.
Read: 7 Nasty Effects of BPA
John Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance asserted that the amount of BPA in a can was still far too small to justify becoming alarmed. He stated:
“It’s important for consumers to realize that these levels are well below a ‘part per million’ in their food.”
Anna Scanlon is an author of YA and historical fiction and a PhD student at the University of Leicester where she is finishing her degree in modern history.