On Wednesday, March 30, a peer-reviewed study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives that suggests that food packaging is a substantial source of exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which laboratory studies have linked to serious health problems including breast cancer, infertility and early puberty. In this human study, scientists at the Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute discovered significant drops in levels of BPA when study participants ate a diet that avoided contact with BPA-containing food packaging, such as canned food and polycarbonate plastic.
The study, “Food Packaging and Bisphenol A and Bis(2-Ethyhexyl) Phthalate Exposure: Findings from a Dietary Intervention,” tested the levels of BPA in the urine of five San Francisco Bay Area families of four who had a high likelihood of regular exposure to food packaging containing BPA. Next participants ate the low-BPA diet for three days, and another sample was taken. Finally they were evaluated after returning to their normal eating habits. The BPA levels dropped significantly during the dietary intervention. In addition to BPA, participants were tested for several phthalates, plastic chemicals with known links to reproductive problems. Levels of the phthalate DEHP, found in some plastic food packaging, also dropped significantly.
Posted on 04/08/11 by Allison