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Study: BPA Common in Kids' Canned Foods

Researchers Say Potentially Harmful Chemical Is Leaching Into Soup From Cans

BPA Debate Continues continued...

On the other side of the debate, industry groups say recent studies call into question previous studies that have used spot testing of blood or urine as an indicator of potential BPA health risks.

"There has been a lot of new science that has come out not necessarily looking at the levels of BPA in canned foods, but what is happening when BPA enters the body. I think that is of more concern," says John Rost, PhD, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance. "People may begin to see that BPA is not dangerous or harmful and that the benefits of using it far outweigh the media uproar."

For example, a study in this month's Journal of Toxicological Sciences suggests that BPA in the food supply may not be responsible for negative health effects because it is quickly metabolized and doesn't stay in the body for long.

"Your body is able to excrete it without it ever entering the bloodstream in a toxic form," says Rost.

But experts say metabolism rates vary greatly from person to person and cite studies that have linked very low BPA levels in the blood or urine to developmental, reproductive, or metabolic disorders in animals.

"We know that people metabolize BPA quickly, but we have daily contact with it and it is a very potent, toxic chemical in laboratory settings," says Sonya Lunder, senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. "We want people's exposure to be as low as possible."

"The study was only looking at adults and there is long-standing evidence that children, while they are also able to metabolize BPA, they do it more slowly or not as completely," says Lunder.

How to Reduce BPA Exposure

Together with the National Toxicology Program, the FDA is carrying out in-depth studies to assess the health risks of BPA exposure in humans.

Until those results are in, the FDA is taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply, including supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in food can linings.

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