BPA found in foods marketed to children

It’s pretty common knowledge that the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) is dangerous, and most people have discarded plastic water bottles and baby bottles to avoid it.

But new information has emerged indicating that BPA is still present in canned foods.

The United States Breast Cancer Fund released a study on Wednesday that had some startling results.

Of the canned soups and pastas they studies, all were found to contain BPA, including the organic brands.

Worryingly, the product found with the most BPA was marketed to children: Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, with 148 parts per billion.

The Breast Cancer Fund says it is particularly dangerous for children to ingest the chemical as it can have a far bigger impact in the developmental years.

The average was 49 parts per billion, which the cancer research and prevention advocacy group says is cause for alarm.

The levels "are of great concern because BPA disrupts the body’s delicate hormonal systems," it says.

BPA is a chemical used during manufacturing that has been shown to mimic estrogen and cause reproduction problems in lab animals.

It has also been linked to cancer in animals but it is unclear whether humans suffer the same side effects.

Statistics in Canada showed over 90 per cent of people had some BPA in their body.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand monitors the presence and regulation of BPA in Australia and says studies have shown there are some safe levels of the substance.

“The internationally established safe level, called the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI), for BPA is 0.05 mg per kilogram of body weight per day,” it says.

“The TDI is an estimate of the amount of a substance in food that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without appreciable health risk.

“It is based on animal studies and incorporates a safety factor which allows scientists to calculate a safe level of consumption for humans.”

The other important factor, according to FSANZ, is that the amount of BPA a person would have to ingest for it to be dangerous is quite high.

“A nine month old baby weighing 9 kg would have to eat more than 1 kg of canned baby custard containing BPA every day to reach the TDI, assuming that the custard contained the highest level of BPA found (420 parts per billion) in a recent survey by CHOICE,” FSANZ states.

In 2008 the Canadian Government announced it would prohibit the importation, sale and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles and in 2010, the Australian government announced it would be voluntarily phasing out baby bottles containing the chemical.

Further research is continually being carried out across the world to determine the impacts of BPA.


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