Update: Some additional resources for more information added below!
With controversy still raging over Sigg’s recent admission that their original water bottles — often touted, even by this blog, as a safe/BPA-free choice — contain minimal amounts of Bisphenol-A, a Consumer Reports study released yesterday illustrates that the BPA problem is even worse than we thought.
What it found was that even BPA-free canned food (like that produced by Eden Foods with special BPA cans made by Ball) still contain trace amounts of this toxic chemical, which has been shown to increase risk of both cancer and reproductive abnormalities in animal studies (and, even as the American Chemistry Council continues to deny that BPA is dangerous–the chemical’s FDA approval being their main evidence – Nice!–another study released this summer linked BPA exposure to heart problems).
So apparently BPA, a primary ingredient in polycarbonate and epoxy linings like those in canned goods, is also used in other equipment that commonly comes in contact with processed foods. Another scary alternative, the LA Times posits, is that BPA –BPA can now be found in water supplies and in dust– is making its way into fish and vegetables as they grow due to environmental contamination.
Things you can do to limit BPA exposure
- Stop buying canned goods – OK folks, I know these are convenience items, but when this story originally broke in 2007, I bought a crock pot to make soups and beans–the main things we ate out of cans–and I’ve never looked back. It’s cheaper, tastes better, is healthier (both because the food is fresher/less processed and because it is lower sodium!), and carries less environmental impact than canned foods.
- Check your hard plastic food receptacles – We ended up using several different Internet resources to determine which sippy cups and food containers were safest. Our switch to glass food containers has been a good one–they’re more durable, don’t hold on to stains/smells, and are microwave safe. And there are BPA free sippy cups out there. Even Sigg, who admittedly misled consumers about the BPA content of their original bottles, has dropped BPA entirely from its line of rather expensive but durable bottles.
- Beware plastic toys, especially teethers – Many toys sold as teethers or targeting an age group that makes it likely the product will end up in a child’s mouth still contain BPA. There is good information on Squiddo about finding safe teethers, as well as sippies and bottles. Note that BPA is not the only concern here–phthalates and lead are also a concern.
Today, Change.org launched a petition urging Campbell’s to remove BPA from its cans.