For the first time in the United States, researchers are reporting in a peer-reviewed scientific journal the detection of Bisphenol A (BPA) in fresh and canned food as well as food wrapped in plastic packaging. The amounts in the limited sample, however, were almost 1,000 times lower than the "tolerable daily intake" levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Their report appears online in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology.
Arnold J. Schecter and colleagues note that BPA is used in lining metal cans and in polycarbonate plastics such as baby bottles, although some manufacturers are switching to BPA-free products. "In humans, BPA is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and male sexual dysfunction in exposed workers," they state. "Food is a major exposure source. We know of no studies reporting BPA in U.S. fresh food, canned food, and food in plastic packaging in peer reviewed journals."
To fill that gap in scientific knowledge, the scientists measured BPA levels in 105 human, cat, and dog foods. They detected BPA in 63 of 105 human food samples from grocery stores in Dallas, and present a detailed list of foods, brands, and BPA levels in the text of the study. The levels were lower than the 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight standard used by EPA and EFSA and comparable to levels detected in the past. Schecter noted that some studies have shown adverse effects associated with exposure to BPA at lower doses. "Further research is indicated to determine BPA levels in U.S. food in larger, representative sampling," the report said.
The report acknowledged funding from Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.
- Arnold Schecter, Noor Malik, Darrah Haffner, Sarah Smith, T. Robert Harris, Olaf Paepke, Linda Birnbaum. Bisphenol A (BPA) in U.S. Food. Environmental Science & Technology, 2010; 101101171317041 DOI: 10.1021/es102785d
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