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Study: Food packaging choices lower BPA

 Exposure to bisphenol A, or BPA, linked to cancer and other health risks, can be

significantly reduced with simple dietary changes, a U.S. report says.

 

A study by the non-profit Breast Cancer Fund and the Silent Spring Institute, a
breast cancer research group, said BPA, often used in clear, shatterproof
plastics such as baby bottles and food-storage containers as well as the liners
of metal food cans, can leach from the plastic and cans into food, Silent Spring
reported Wednesday.

 

The study tracked five San Francisco Bay-area families for eight days in January
2010, collecting urine samples from family members after each family regularly
ate meals prepared outside the home, including canned foods, canned sodas and
frozen dinners. They also microwaved foods in plastic.

 

The families were then switched to a modified diet of fresh organic meals and
snacks, prepared and delivered by a caterer that avoided using foods packaged in
plastic or cans. The meals were stored in glass and stainless steel containers.

Urine samples collected during the families' diet changes showed urinary BPA
levels decreased by more than 60 percent on average within three days of
switching to a diet with minimal canned foods or plastic food packaging, the
study found.

 

"One of the main sources of BPA is believed to be food packaging, but there
weren't any studies that had actually looked at having people eat a normal diet
and then stop eating foods that had been wrapped in BPA-containing products,"
Janet Gray of Vassar College, science adviser to the Breast Cancer Fund, told
the Los Angeles Times.

 

"We wanted to be able to ask the question: Could we have fairly simple changes
in people's lives, both adults and children, that would alter their exposure and
body burden of BPA?" Gray said.

 

"This is an important study," said Andy Igrejas, Director of Safer Chemicals,
Healthy Families. "It highlights two things: first, the government still does
not have a handle on these chemicals even though health concerns have been
established for years. Secondly, there is something consumers can do. As long as
the federal government fails to identify and restrict toxic substances,
consumers will increasingly have to take matters into their own hands through
efforts like restricting their packaged food."


Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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