A new study conducted by the Breast Cancer Fund states that some of the kid-friendly canned foods you may have in your pantry contain traces of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), MSNBC recently reported. Although BPA has been found in a variety of places, including cash register receipts, plastics, dental sealants, and canned goods, this new study looked specifically at canned goods marketed to kids.
The Breast Cancer Fund tested for BPA in six products marketed to children, including:
- Annie's Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli, USDA Organic
- Campbell's Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
- Campbell's Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
- Campbell's Spaghettios with Meatballs
- Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC's & 123's with Meatballs
- Earth's Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup, USDA Organic
While all of the samples tested positive for BPA (on average, two samples of each were tested by an independent lab), the highest BPA levels were found in two Campbell’s products: the Disney Princess and Toy Story soups (averages of 114 and 81 parts per billion, respectively); the lowest levels were found in another Campbell’s product, SpaghettiOs with Meatballs (average of 13 ppb). Overall, the average level of BPA in the 12 items tested was 49 ppb (parts per billion) and individual results ranged from 10 to 148 ppb. The Environmental Protection Agency's estimate of safe exposure level is 50 ppb per day.
BPA, which is not listed on the label, is often found in the lining of metal cans used to store food. Its purpose is to form a barrier between the can and food to prevent metals from leaching into the foods or taint it with a metallic taste. Although animal studies have shown that high levels of BPA can cause health problems, it’s uncertain what low levels do—or what exactly exposure does to people. In lab studies, exposure to BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, early puberty in girls, obesity, infertility, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), researchers from the Breast Cancer Fund say.
The amount of BPA that seeps in canned foods depends on the salt, fat and acid content of the product, as well as the length of time the food has been canned, or whether it has been exposed to heat or UV light. Though the study reveals these canned foods to contain BPA, there is no reason to panic. The concern over BPA isn’t tied to a single serving of any of these foods, but rather repeated and continued exposure to BPA, given that researchers just don’t know its long-term effects on humans. And, by decreasing the amount of exposure to BPA, by eating fresh foods or substituting dried or frozen pasta for canned, for example, the body can naturally lower its levels of the chemical. For more info on ways to decrease your family’s BPA exposure, check out the Breast Cancer Fund’s full report. And if you think BPA should be removed from
Are you concerned about your family’s exposure to BPA? Will this report lead you to eat less canned goods?