In the can

Fall 2016

Concerns about bisphenol A aren’t just for plastic bottles anymore. A study published in the October 2016 issue of Environmental Research shows that eating some canned foods increases exposure to BPA, a hormone disrupter linked to diabetes, cardio­vascular disease and other health problems.

BPA is used in the resins that coat the inside of food cans and jar lids. In a study of 6,372 participants, researchers found that the more canned food they consumed, the higher their urinary BPA concentrations. Canned soup was the most pernicious, followed by canned pasta, vegetables and fruit.

“I could eat three cans of peaches and you could eat one can of cream-of-mushroom soup and have a greater exposure to BPA,” says lead author Jennifer Hartle, PhD, a former post­doctoral scholar at Stanford who is now an assistant professor of health science and recreation at San José State University.

Although the problem is clear, the solution is less so. “Many food and beverage companies are moving away from the use of BPA,” Hartle says. “However, we do not know if synthetic BPA replacements are safe either.”