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Canned food test results

Bisphenol A - Toxic Plastics Chemical in Canned Food: Canned food test results

March 5, 2007

Canned foods are thought to be the predominate route of BPA exposure (CERHR 2006). Numerous studies support this fact, including an investigation of BPA exposures for 257 young children in North Carolina and Ohio day care centers. Researchers collected samples of the air, water, dust, hand wipes and the daily diet and attributed 99 percent of children's daily BPA exposures to food (Wilson, Chuang et al. 2003; Wilson, Chuang et al. 2007). Despite this fact, very little canned food testing has been performed. Both the Plastics Industry and FDA have based their safety or exposure assessments for BPA on incredibly few canned food tests, fewer than 20 in both cases (Allan B. Bailey 1996; SPI 2007).

EWG tested foods and beverages from nearly 100 cans purchased in grocery stores in 3 states. EWG tested 28 different types of foods including canned fruits, vegetables, pasta, beans, infant formula, meal replacements and canned milk. We tested 1 to 6 samples of each type food. BPA levels varied from less the detection limit to a maximum level of 385 micrograms BPA per kilogram food (a part per billion). BPA test results for individual cans are shown at the end of this section.


Many studies confirm BPA's low-dose toxicity across a diverse range of toxic effects

 

Daily BPA exposure (ug/kg body weight-day) CERHR conclusion* Toxic effect Study details Reference % cans tested by EWG with single-serving BPA levels within a margin of 10 from harmful dose
0.0001 not included alterations in cell signalling pathways on the cell surface that control calcium eflux in cells in-vitro study which compared activity of BPA and other hormone disruptors Wozniak 2005 56.7 (all cans with detected BPA)
0.025 "very useful" persistent changes to breast tissue, predisposes cells to hormones and carcinogens fetal exposure, osmotic pumps, changes noted a 6 months of age Munoz-de-Toro 2005 55.7
0.025 "useful and shows tissue effects at extremely low dose levels" permanent changes to genital tract fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Markey 2005 55.7
0.2 utility "limited" decrease antioxidant enzymes adult exposure, oral Chitra 2003 47.4
0.25 utility "to be added" altered growth, cell size and lumen formation in mammary epithelium of mouse fetuses. exposure during pregnancy w/osmotic pumps Vandenberg 2007 45.4
2 "useful" increased prostate weight 30% fetal exposure, oral route Nagel 1997 20.6
2 "moderately useful" increased aggression at 8 weeks of life fetal exposure, oral route Kawai 2003 20.6
2.4 "useful", but non-traditional endpoint Decreased time from vaginal opening to first estrus, possibly earlier puberty fetal exposure, oral route Howdeshell 1999 17.5
2.4 "useful" lower bodyweight, increase of anogenital distance in both genders, signs of early puberty and longer estrus. fetal exposure, oral route Honma 2002 17.5
2.4 "adequate" decline in testicular testosterone fetal and neonatal exposure, gavage Akingbemi 2004 17.5
2.5 utility "to be added" breast cells predisposed to cancer fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Murray 2006 16.5
2.5 not included immune system impacts oral exposure Sawai 2003 16.5
10 utility "very useful" prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer infant oral exposure, 3 day duration Ho 2006 2.1
10 utility "very useful" prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer fetal exposure, oral route, short duration Timms 2005 2.1
10 not included insulin resistance develops in 2 days, chronic hyperinsulinemia at day 4 subcutaneous injection, short duration exposure Alonso-Magdalena 2006 2.1
10 "very useful" decreased maternal behaviors fetal and neonatal exposure, oral route Palanza 2002 2.1
20 not included damage to eggs and chromosomes fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Hunt 2003 0
20 not included damage to eggs fetal exposure, osmotic pumps Susiajro 2007 0
20 not included brain effects - disrupted neocortical development by accelerating neuronal differentiation and migration single injection Nakamura 2006 0
30 "...adequate for the evaluation process and gives cause for concern" reversed the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior oral during gestation and lactation Kubo 2001 0
30 "suitable" hyperactivity oral Ishido 2004 0
50   EPA RfD EPA's 'safe exposure level, based on outdated, high dose studies and a 1000-fold margin of safety EPA 1998 0

 


*CERHR conclusion refers to the Center for Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction expert panel assessment of the utility of the study in the panel's review of BPA risks to human reproduction (CERHR 2006).

Statistics on percent cans with single servings that would yield human dose within a margin of 10 of the toxic dose are generated with the following assumptions: BPA calculations reflect a single adult serving, using label serving size and body weight of 60 kg (132 lbs); exposures for concentrated infant formula is calculated for exclusively formula-fed infant using average 3-month-old body weight (6 kg/13 lbs) and average daily formula ingestion (840 g/30 oz); formula is assumed diluted with water free of BPA.


We found widespread contamination of BPA in canned foods. All six cans of spaghetti and ravioli tested contained measurable levels of BPA, averaging 63.5 parts per billion. Five of the six cans of baked beans examined had measurable levels of BPA, averaging 9.7 parts per billion. Two of six cans of infant formula tested contained BPA. The exposure that an infant might receive from canned formula, given his or her small size and limited food sources, makes the level of contamination in these cans particularly disturbing.



BPA is found in canned food around the world

Our study provides the most comprehensive U.S.-based examination of BPA in canned food available, but BPA contamination in food is a global concern. Below we show findings of other studies from around the world, as described in CERHR (2006).


Summary of BPA measurements in canned food from 9 previous studies

 

Food type Number of studies Location Total number of cans tested Percent of cans with BPA detected BPA range, ppb (ug/kg) EWG study: BPA range, ppb (ug/kg) Ref-
erences
Beverages 1 Austria 7 0% <0.9 - 3.4 2.4 - 8.2 [2]
Canned meat+ 3 New Zealand, UK 10 ~75% 8.6 - 89 NA [5, 6, 9]
Fruit 2 Austria, UK 6 >80% 5 - 38 2.2 - 27 [2, 5]
Fruit & vegetables 1 New Zealand 38 unavailable <20 - 24 NA [9]
Infant food 2 New Zealand, UK 10 30% <10 - 77 NA [5, 9]
Infant formula 3 US, UK, Taiwan 24 80% <0.002 - 113 10.9 - 17.1 [1, 5, 7]
Pasta 3 New Zealand, UK 10 >50% <7 - 130 16.2 - 247 [5, 6, 9]
Soup 3 New Zealand, UK 15 unavailable <2 - 39 8.6 - 385 [5, 6, 9]
Tuna 4 New Zealand, UK, Mexico, Austria 16 75% <7 - 109 80 - 108 [5, 8, 9,
10]
Vegetables 5 Austria, UK, Spain, US 34 >80% 4 - 76 8.9 - 330 [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

 


+ Does not include tuna

References

U.S.: [1] Biles, J. E., McNeal, T. P. and Begley, T. H. Determination of bisphenol A migrating from epoxy can coatings to infant formula liquid concentrates. J Agric Food Chem 1997; 45: 4697-4700.

Austria: [2] Braunrath, R., Podlipna, D., Padlesak, S. and Cichna-Markl, M. Determination of bisphenol A in canned foods by immunoaffinity chromatography, HPLC, and fluorescence detection. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53: 8911-7.

Spain: [3] Brotons, J. A., Olea-Serrano, M. F., Villalobos, M., Pedraza, V. and Olea, N. Xenoestrogens released from lacquer coatings in food cans. Environ Health Perspect 1995; 103: 608-12.

U.S.: [4] FDA. Cumulative Exposure Estimated for Bisphenol A (BPA), Individually for Adults and Infants from Its Use in Epoxy-Based Can Coatings and Polycarbonate (PC) Articles, verbal request of 10-23-95, memorandum to G. Diachenki, Ph.D, Division of Product Manufacture and Use, HGS-245, from Allan B. Bailey, Ph.D., Chemistry Review Branch, HFS-245. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. Food and Drug Administration; 1996.

U.K.: [5] Goodson, A., Robin, H., Summerfield, W. and Cooper, I. Migration of bisphenol A from can coatings--effects of damage, storage conditions and heating. Food Addit Contam 2004; 21: 1015-26.

U.K.: [6] Goodson, A., Summerfield, W. and Cooper, I. Survey of bisphenol A and bisphenol F in canned foods. Food Addit Contam 2002; 19: 796-802.

Taiwan: [7] Kuo, H.-W. and Ding, W.-H. Trace determination of bisphenol A and phytoestrogens in infant formula powders by gas chromatography-mass spectometry. J Chromatogr A 2004; 1027: 67-74.

Mexico: [8] Munguía-López , E. M., Gerardo-Lugo, S., Peralta, E., Bolumen, S. and Soto-Valdez, H. Migration of bisphenol A (BPA) from can coatings into a fatty-food simulant and tuna fish. Food Addit Contam 2005; 22: 892-8

New Zealand: [9] Thomson, B. M. and Grounds, P. R. Bisphenol A in canned foods in New Zealand: an exposure assessment. Food Addit Contam 2005; 22: 65-72.



Summary of BPA measurements in canned food from 9 previous studies

 

Food type Number of studies Location Total number of cans tested Percent of cans with BPA detected BPA range, ppb (ug/kg) EWG study: BPA range, ppb (ug/kg) Ref-
erences
Beverages 1 Austria 7 0% <0.9 - 3.4 2.4 - 8.2 [2]
Canned meat+ 3 New Zealand, UK 10 ~75% 8.6 - 89 NA [5, 6, 9]
Fruit 2 Austria, UK 6 >80% 5 - 38 2.2 - 27 [2, 5]
Fruit & vegetables 1 New Zealand 38 unavailable <20 - 24 NA [9]
Infant food 2 New Zealand, UK 10 30% <10 - 77 NA [5, 9]
Infant formula 3 US, UK, Taiwan 24 80% <0.002 - 113 10.9 - 17.1 [1, 5, 7]
Pasta 3 New Zealand, UK 10 >50% <7 - 130 16.2 - 247 [5, 6, 9]
Soup 3 New Zealand, UK 15 unavailable <2 - 39 8.6 - 385 [5, 6, 9]
Tuna 4 New Zealand, UK, Mexico, Austria 16 75% <7 - 109 80 - 108 [5, 8, 9,
10]
Vegetables 5 Austria, UK, Spain, US 34 >80% 4 - 76 8.9 - 330 [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

 


+ Does not include tuna

References

U.S.: [1] Biles, J. E., McNeal, T. P. and Begley, T. H. Determination of bisphenol A migrating from epoxy can coatings to infant formula liquid concentrates. J Agric Food Chem 1997; 45: 4697-4700.

Austria: [2] Braunrath, R., Podlipna, D., Padlesak, S. and Cichna-Markl, M. Determination of bisphenol A in canned foods by immunoaffinity chromatography, HPLC, and fluorescence detection. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53: 8911-7.

Spain: [3] Brotons, J. A., Olea-Serrano, M. F., Villalobos, M., Pedraza, V. and Olea, N. Xenoestrogens released from lacquer coatings in food cans. Environ Health Perspect 1995; 103: 608-12.

U.S.: [4] FDA. Cumulative Exposure Estimated for Bisphenol A (BPA), Individually for Adults and Infants from Its Use in Epoxy-Based Can Coatings and Polycarbonate (PC) Articles, verbal request of 10-23-95, memorandum to G. Diachenki, Ph.D, Division of Product Manufacture and Use, HGS-245, from Allan B. Bailey, Ph.D., Chemistry Review Branch, HFS-245. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration. Food and Drug Administration; 1996.

U.K.: [5] Goodson, A., Robin, H., Summerfield, W. and Cooper, I. Migration of bisphenol A from can coatings--effects of damage, storage conditions and heating. Food Addit Contam 2004; 21: 1015-26.

U.K.: [6] Goodson, A., Summerfield, W. and Cooper, I. Survey of bisphenol A and bisphenol F in canned foods. Food Addit Contam 2002; 19: 796-802.

Taiwan: [7] Kuo, H.-W. and Ding, W.-H. Trace determination of bisphenol A and phytoestrogens in infant formula powders by gas chromatography-mass spectometry. J Chromatogr A 2004; 1027: 67-74.

Mexico: [8] Munguía-López , E. M., Gerardo-Lugo, S., Peralta, E., Bolumen, S. and Soto-Valdez, H. Migration of bisphenol A (BPA) from can coatings into a fatty-food simulant and tuna fish. Food Addit Contam 2005; 22: 892-8

New Zealand: [9] Thomson, B. M. and Grounds, P. R. Bisphenol A in canned foods in New Zealand: an exposure assessment. Food Addit Contam 2005; 22: 65-72.