You may have heard some people saying that food in cans can be bad for you, and should be avoided. Some people do believe this, and the origin of this fear is probably related to a chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA. Though there has been considerable debate about the safety of BPA, the US FDA has stated that there is no risk to human life posed by the amount normally consumed coincidentally.
Some of this concern is likely the result of a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control which showed that 92% of adults in the US—that’s almost all of us—had detectable amounts of BPA in their urine. How did it get there, what’s it likely to do (if anything) to our health, and where did it come from?
Bisphenol A is a chemical sometimes used in rigid, clear plastics like those used to store food or water. BPA is also used in the kind of epoxy resin that lines the inside of some metal cans that store food. It’s also found in things like dental sealants, medical devices, and compact discs—basically, in many different kinds of plastic.
Many people are concerned about BPA and believe it to be a chemical which is dangerous to human beings. People who believe that BPA is hazardous to our health cite several animal studies that demonstrated a relationship between high levels of the chemical in the bloodstreams of people who suffered from conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and infertility. The chemical was shown to be more easily absorbed by the body than originally thought. When the chemical is used in the lining of a can or plastic bottle, it can leach into the food or drink stored inside the container, and subsequently be consumed by humans.
BPA was used in many products until 2010, when for the first time concerns over the widespread use of the chemical became mainstream, and were covered in the media. Subsequent to this increased coverage, the US FDA appealed to manufacturers of goods used or consumed by infants—such as baby bottles, spill-proof cups, and the cans used to store infant formula—to voluntarily stop using the chemical in their products. Shortly thereafter, many other manufacturers or packagers of food stuffs voluntarily stopped using BPA, and today virtually all plastic products are BPA free. Its presence in any material used to store food today is highly unlikely.
To your survival,