BPA Lurking in 90 percent of Cans Tested


Reinforcing a 2009 Consumer Reports finding that BPA is present in “family favorites” canned foods like Campbell’s Soup, comes No Silver Lining, a study done by The National Work Group for Safe Markets, a coalition of public health and environmental health groups, including the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ).

The group tested 50 cans taken from 19 states across the nation and one Canadian Province and tested them for BPA.  They discovered that 90 percent of the cans contained detectable levels, and that some of those levels discovered were higher than in previous studies.

The group said in a written press release:

The canned foods tested were brand name fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, soups, tomato products, sodas, and milks, which together represent “real-life” meal options for a wide range of North American consumers. The cans were purchased from retail stores and were chosen from report participants’ pantry shelves, and sent to an independent laboratory for testing.  One can of DelMonte green beans had the highest levels of BPA ever found in canned food, at 1,140 parts per billion.

Perhaps more importantly, they also discovered that BPA levels were not consistent from can to can.  Two cans of peas, both the same brand but with different lot numbers, were found to contain very different levels of BPA — six parts per billion in  one and 300 parts per billion in another — making it difficult for consumers to protect themselves.

Stronger laws may eventually be on the horizon, and states are starting to step up and ban BPA in children’s products.  Even then, there’s no way to avoid BPA altogether.  But concerned parents can reduce BPA exposure to their family through these simple steps.

Photo: The Consumerist, Flickr