Consumers who eat foods stored in aluminum cans typically have increased levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in their bodies, increasing the concerns about the health risks that may be caused by the ubiquitous chemical.
According to a study published in the October 2016 edition of the medical journal Environmental Research, individuals who ate one or more foods stored in aluminum cans had up to 229% higher levels of BPA than those who did not.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used chemical found in recent years in hard plastic food containers and the liners of aluminum cans. It is a known endocrine disrupture, and has been linked to concerns about potentially far-reaching side effects, leading many manufacturers to phase it out of plastic containers. However, food cans often still contain BPA, despite the health risks.
In the study, a group of researchers from Stanford University, Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University examined data from nearly 8,000 participants over the age of six between 2003 and 2008. BPA concentrations were taken from the patients from a 24 hour period along with dietary information.
Researchers then evaluated the associations between recent canned food and beverage consumption and urinary BPA concentrations. A total of nine percent of participants consumed one canned food in the past 24 hours before having their urine tested. Another two percent consumed two or more canned foods.
The prevalence of BPA in the human body and in the environment has come to forefront of attention recently as more data is published linking the toxic chemical to negative health effects, including an increase in breathing problems among babies who were exposed to BPA in utero, among other side effects.
The study concluded consuming one canned food, compared to none, was associated with 24% higher urinary BPA concentrations. Consumption of two or more canned foods was associated with 54% higher urinary BPA concentrations, compared to consumption of no canned foods.
Researchers determined urinary BPA concentrations varied and some were higher for specific types of canned foods. Those that consumed canned vegetables or fruits had 41% higher BPA urinary concentrations.
People who consumed canned soups had even higher BPA concentrations at 229% increased urinary BPA concentrations and those that consumed canned pasta had 70% higher BPA concentrations.
Researchers also determined consuming canned beverages was not associated with urinary BPA concentrations.
BPA Health Concerns
The new study is another piece of research that calls into the question the ubiquitous use of BPA in manufacturing nowadays and its dubious side effects. A study published in 2013, suggested BPA may harm the proper formation of the brain and effects neurodevelopment.
A report published earlier this year found that many manufacturers who have agreed to phase out the use of BPA still use the harmful chemical. The report determined that more than ttwo-thirds of the aluminum food cans on store shelves still contain the chemical. They found that 100% of Campbell’s Foods cans and 71% of Del Monte cans contain BPA.
Research published in 2014 called for BPA safe levels to be reevaluated, citing conclusions from animals studies showing the chemical to increase testicular cancer, decrease male sperm counts, and increase the occurrence of undescended testicles.