Canned foods sold in Canada contain the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A at concentrations as much as double the levels that prompted many consumers to shun plastic baby bottles and water bottles made from the controversial material, according to testing conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV.
The highest amounts were in a food often consumed by children – tomato sauce, which had 18.2 parts per billion. But the news organizations tested 13 other canned goods purchased at Toronto stores, including beer, ravioli, apple juice and cream-style corn, and found bisphenol A in every sample.
Tomato juice had 14.1 ppb, chicken noodle soup as much as 9.9 ppb and ravioli 6.2 ppb.
It is the first time such a review of common, everyday food items has been done in Canada, and indicates there is widespread exposure to the chemical, also known as BPA, among those who eat canned goods, even if they do not use polycarbonate plastic bottles. None of the levels exceed current Health Canada guidelines, industry officials point out.
“These results provide further evidence that Canadians are marinating in this chemical on a daily basis,” said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence, a Toronto advocacy group that has been lobbying Health Canada to ban bisphenol A from food and beverage containers.
Based on the results of animal experiments, researchers have linked low amounts of BPA to effects such as breast cancer and the earlier onset of puberty in girls, among other conditions, with exposures during fetal development and in early life the most damaging.