A few years ago, when animal studies starting linking BPA (bisphenol A) to various cancers, the resulting consumer uproar forced a mass recall of reusable plastic bottles. Safety-conscious mothers everywhere let out a giant sigh of relief as baby bottles were pulled from the shelves. A big win had been scored for consumer safety.
The problem? Those aren't the only things that contain BPA.
In fact, BPA is ubiquitous in lots of consumer goods, including canned foods, which are lined with an epoxy resin that contains the compound.
Now, a report from University of Rochester in New York says that BPA exposure from canned foods could be more extensive than in plastic bottles.
The report follows a recent decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fund a $30 million study on the chemical's potential effects on the human body. Those findings are due at the end of 2011.
Since there are no economically viable alternatives to BPA in epoxy resin, the carcinogenic risk of eating canned foods isn't likely to change soon. For now, Yale University physician and professor Hugh Taylor is telling pregnant patients to avoid products containing the chemical.
"We always balance the risk with the benefits in our lives," he said. "There's a price we pay for modern society and convenience."
Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters