Study: BPA in food widespread, but levels low

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 4th November 2010

canned vegetablesA US study has conducted an analysis of BPA levels in American food, revealing that almost two-thirds of foods tested contained traces of the chemical, but at levels 1000 times less than accepted limits.

Researchers measured BPA levels in 105 human, cat, and dog foods from a variety of grocery stores around Dallas, Texas. They detected BPA in 63 of these samples. However, the levels were significantly lower than 50 micrograms per kg of body weight, the limit used by America’s EPA and the European Food Safety Authority.

BPA is used in lining metal cans and in polycarbonate plastics such as baby bottles, although some manufacturers have begun switching to BPA-free products. In Australia, BPA will be phased out of baby bottle production, and its use in food packaging remains hotly debated.

“In humans, BPA is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and male sexual dysfunction in exposed workers,” said the article. “Food is a major exposure source. We know of no studies reporting BPA in US fresh food, canned food, and food in plastic packaging in peer reviewed journals.”

Lead author Arnold J. 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 research appears online in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology.