Perhaps precipitated by wide media coverage of study from the Harvard School of Public Health last week—which reported that eating canned vegetable soup for five days straight spiked people’s urine levels of BPA by an astounding 1200 percent—the FDA has committed to a decision by March 31, 2012, on whether to ban the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) from use in packaging for food and drinks. (The announcement was part of the settlement of an NRDA lawsuit launched more than three years ago.)
So stay tuned. After focusing on getting BPA out of baby bottles, then PC water bottles, it has become clear that Americans’ major source of exposure is actually canned food. That touches not only children, but everyone who uses a can opener regularly.
Until March (and fingers crossed), here are tips from the NRDC (which you can make available to shoppers) on how to reduce BPA exposure:
- Limit your consumption of canned or processed food by eating fresh or frozen produce and buying processed food in "brick" cartons, pouches or glass.
- Limit your consumption of canned soda and beer—where possible choose glass as an alternative.
- If you have a newborn, avoid feeding him/her any prepared liquid formula in a can. Breast is always best, but if you are using formula, powdered formulations are known to be BPA free.
- Use a BPA-free reusable water bottle, such as an unlined stainless steel bottle.
- Don't allow your children to have dental sealants made from BPA (or BADGE) applied to their teeth, and don't have these sealants applied to your teeth while you are pregnant. Ask your dentist to provide BPA-free treatments.
- Tell the store clerk to keep the receipt. Thermal paper receipts are coated with high levels of BPA, which can transfer through your skin into your body.