Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that has been used in the production of plastic bottles and metal food and beverage containers for more than 40 years. The FDA has stated that exposure to small amounts of BPA is safe, however studies have shown that exposure to BPA may be unsafe for children. It seems like there are a dozens of new studies warning of new potential sources of BPA exposure: baby bottles, metal cans, reusable water bottles, dental fillings and sealants, cash register receipts and so on. And with those sources are all sorts of potential health implications: low sperm count, heart problems, diabetes, cancer and so on. In children, BPA may pose a threat to the brain, prostate and behavioral functions of children and fetuses.

New research and reports are constantly in progress. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has provided $30 million for further research. Later this year, a two-year toxicity study on BPA is expected to begin and researchers will be focusing on links between BPA and individual diseases. In the meantime, I’m off canned tomatoes.

I made a recipe today that called for tomato paste and canned stewed tomatoes. Because I know that there is usually no shortage of the two sold in cans under many brand names I did some online research to find out who makes jarred versions and where I could find them. When I went to the grocery store I discovered Bionaturae brand tomato paste in a jar and Pomi brand chopped tomatoes in a Tetra Pak container.

If you’ve read my other posts you know I have a better-safe-than-sorry attitude to just about everything. My recommendation is to avoid products, particularly products containing food and beverages, that are made with BPA. The Centers for Disease Control conducted a survey and found that 93% of Americans over the age of 6 had detectable amounts of BPA in their urine. Ok. It’s in our bodies. So this isn’t just a maybe – it’s actually being transferred from products into our systems. I think that is a reason for all of us to cut back our exposure as much as possible.

Links for further study:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services BPA Information for Parents

EWG’s Consumer Tips to Avoid BPA Exposure

U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Update on BPA (Jan 2010)