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Bisphenol A - Toxic Plastics Chemical in Canned Food: View all tables

March 5, 2007

EWG test results — BPA is common contaminant in name-brand canned foods heavily consumed by women and infants

Canned Foods Number of brands tested Number of cans tested Foods
tested
BPA % detect Average BPA level* and range (ppb)
All foods 30 97   57% 7.9 (ND - 385)
Beans 3 6 baked beans 83% 9.7 (ND - 38)
Fruit 6 17 mixed fruit, cranberry sauce, peaches, pears, pineapple 35% 2.3 (ND - 27)
Infant formula 2 6 concentrated infant soy and milk-based formula 33% 2.4 (ND - 17)
Meal replacement 2 5 liquid meal replacements 40% 4.2 (ND - 66)
Milk products   3 evaporated milk 66% 3.5 (ND - 9)
Pasta 2 6 ravioli, spaghetti 100% 63.5 (16 - 247)
Soda 2 12 cola, diet cola 42% 1.7 (ND - 8)
Soup 5 19 beef stew, chicken noodle, chicken rice, chicken vegetable, tomato, vegetable 89% 57.6 (ND - 385)
Tuna 2 6 chunk lite, solid white 50% 9.6 (ND - 108)
Vegetable 8 17 corn, green beans, mixed vegetables, peas, tomatoes 41% 7.8 (ND - 330)

BPA concentrations are expressed in parts per billion (ppb) by weight (micrograms of BPA per kilogram of food).

* Average is the geometric mean. Non-detects considered to be 1/2 the detection limit (1 ppb) for purposes of this calculation.

BPA levels in individual cans - from EWG's test program of 97 cans of 30 name-brand foods

Type of canned food Specific food type State of purchase Bisphenol A (ppb)# Serving size (oz) + Average BPA exposure from single serving (ug/kg-d)*
Beans baked beans GA <2 4.1 ND
Beans baked beans GA 37.7 4.6 0.08
Beans baked beans CA 27.1 4.7 0.06
Beans baked beans CT 27 4.0 0.05
Beans baked beans CT 6.34 4.1 0.01
Beans baked beans CA 4.83 4.1 0.01
Fruit cranberry sauce CA <2 2.7 ND
Fruit cranberry sauce CT <2 2.7 ND
Fruit cranberry sauce GA <2 2.7 ND
Fruit mixed fruit CA <2 4.3 ND
Fruit mixed fruit CA <2 4.1 ND
Fruit mixed fruit CT <2 4.1 ND
Fruit mixed fruit GA <2 4.3 ND
Fruit mixed fruit GA <2 4.4 ND
Fruit mixed fruit CT 10.6 4.4 0.02
Fruit peaches GA <2 4.4 ND
Fruit peaches CT 7.43 4.2 0.01
Fruit pears CT <2 4.4 ND
Fruit pears CA 15.6 4.4 0.03
Fruit pears GA 14 4.3 0.03
Fruit pineapple GA <2 4.4 ND
Fruit pineapple CT 26.9 4.4 0.06
Fruit pineapple CA 2.2 4.0 0.00
Infant formula milk formula with iron CT <2 30.0 ND
Infant formula milk formula with iron GA <2 30.0 ND
Infant formula milk formula with iron CA 17.1 30.0 1.20
Infant formula milk formula with iron GA 10.9 30.0 0.76
Infant formula soy formula with iron CA <2 30.0 ND
Infant formula soy formula with iron CT <2 30.0 ND
Meal replacement chocolate shake CA <2 11.0 ND
Meal replacement chocolate shake CA <2 11.0 ND
Meal replacement chocolate shake CT <2 11.0 ND
Meal replacement chocolate shake GA 65.5 11.0 0.34
Meal replacement vanilla shake GA 19.3 11.0 0.10
Other evaporated milk CT <2 1.0 ND
Other evaporated milk GA 9 1.0 0.00
Other evaporated milk CA 4.83 1.0 0.00
Pasta ravioli CA 247 7.5 0.87
Pasta ravioli GA 220 7.5 0.78
Pasta ravioli CT 16.2 7.5 0.06
Pasta spaghetti CA 52.9 7.5 0.19
Pasta spaghetti GA 38.1 7.5 0.13
Pasta spaghetti CT 37.1 7.4 0.13
Soda cola CA <2 12.5 ND
Soda cola CT <2 8.4 ND
Soda cola CT <2 8.4 ND
Soda cola CA 4.19 12.5 0.02
Soda cola GA 3.35 12.5 0.02
Soda cola GA 2.41 8.4 0.01
Soda diet cola CA <2 12.5 ND
Soda diet cola CT <2 8.4 ND
Soda diet cola CT <2 8.4 ND
Soda diet cola GA <2 8.4 ND
Soda diet cola CA 8.21 12.5 0.05
Soda diet cola GA 2.74 12.5 0.02
Soup beef stew CT 26.9 9.4 0.12
Soup beef stew CA 19 9.4 0.08
Soup chicken broth CT 8.64 7.0 0.03
Soup chicken noodle soup GA <2 4.3 ND
Soup chicken noodle soup CT 385 7.2 1.32
Soup chicken noodle soup CT 184 4.2 0.37
Soup chicken noodle soup CA 83.3 4.3 0.17
Soup chicken rice soup GA 121 4.2 0.24
Soup chicken rice soup CT 104.4 4.2 0.21
Soup chicken rice soup CA 103 4.2 0.20
Soup chicken vegetable soup CA 122 9.5 0.55
Soup chicken vegetable soup CT 49.1 9.5 0.22
Soup noodle soup CA 191 4.4 0.40
Soup noodle soup GA 99.3 4.2 0.20
Soup other soup CT <15 7.1 ND
Soup tomato soup CA 176 4.3 0.36
Soup tomato soup CT 88.5 4.3 0.18
Soup tomato soup GA 78.2 4.3 0.16
Soup vegetable soup CA 79.6 9.2 0.35
Tuna chunk lite CA <2 2.4 ND
Tuna chunk lite CT 108 2.4 0.12
Tuna chunk lite CA 89.8 2.4 0.10
Tuna chunk lite GA 80 2.4 0.09
Tuna chunk white GA <2 2.4 ND
Tuna solid white CT <2 2.4 ND
Vegetable corn CT <2 4.4 ND
Vegetable corn GA <2 2.7 ND
Vegetable green beans CA <2 4.1 ND
Vegetable green beans GA 284 4.1 0.56
Vegetable green beans CT 209 4.1 0.41
Vegetable mixed vegetables CA <2 4.1 ND
Vegetable mixed vegetables CT <2 4.1 ND
Vegetable mixed vegetables CT <2 4.3 ND
Vegetable mixed vegetables GA <15 4.3 ND
Vegetable mixed vegetables GA 330 4.1 0.65
Vegetable mixed vegetables CA 225 4.3 0.46
Vegetable peas CT <2 4.3 ND
Vegetable peas CA 203.5 4.3 0.41
Vegetable peas GA 22.7 4.3 0.05
Vegetable tomatoes CA <2 2.2 ND
Vegetable tomatoes CT <2 4.1 ND
Vegetable tomatoes GA 8.94 2.2 0.01

Source: Chemical analyses of 97 canned foods by Southern Testing and Research Division of Microbac Laboratories, Inc., North Carolina.

# BPA concentrations are expressed in parts per billion (ppb) by weight (micrograms of BPA per kilogram of food)

+ Serving size as noted on can label.

* BPA exposure is expressed in ug/kg-d, or micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight per day. For comparison, numerous animal studies show toxic effects at 2 ug/kg/d and lower.

EWG estimated the BPA dose from single serving of food using 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.




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.




BPA in a single serving of many foods tested would exceed a minimal margin of safety from the low dose effects of oral exposure (2.0 ug/kg-d)+

Food Type Number of cans tested Percent of cans with single-serving dose within margin of 5 from harmful level Percent of cans with single-serving dose within margin of 10 from harmful dose Percent of cans with single-serving dose within margin of 100 from harmful dose High-end daily intake for consumer* (ug/kg-d)
Pasta 6 33% 33% 100% 0.87
Infant formula# 6 33% 33% 33% 1.20
Vegetable 17 29% 29% 35% 0.65
Soup 19 11% 53% 89% 1.32
Meal replacement 5 0% 20% 40% 0.34
Tuna 6 0% 0% 50% 0.12
Beans 6 0% 0% 50% 0.08
Fruit 17 0% 0% 24% 0.06
Soda 12 0% 0% 17% 0.05
Milk products 3 0% 0% 0% 0.004
All foods 97 11% 21% 46% NA

*Calculated for a single serving of the can with the maximum BPA detection for that food type

# Serving = average daily intake for 3 month-old infant exclusively formula fed

+ Nagel et al. 1997




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 Muñoz-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 2007 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 Susiarjo 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 2003 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.