Quantcast
Food

These 16,000 Foods May Contain the Hormone-Disrupting Chemical BPA

For consumers who want to avoid bisphenol A, Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created the first easily, searchable database of nearly 16,000 processed food and drinks packaged in materials that may contain this hormone-disrupting chemical, better known as BPA. The list was compiled from a little-known food industry inventory and is now available at EWG's Food Scores database.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

BPA acts like estrogen in the body and is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children in critical stages of development. Independent scientific studies link it to cancer, infertility, diabetes, obesity and brain, nerve and heart disorders and it's just been listed by California as a chemical known to cause reproductive problems.

“No other industry in the world is more adept at marketing products to its customers than food and beverage companies—except apparently when it comes to informing them about the possible presence of a toxic chemical linked to hormone disruption and cancer," EWG President Ken Cook said.

“So we decided to give them a little help in making their own data accessible. Our new database shines a light on just how pervasive BPA is in our food system and will help Americans navigate the supermarket armed with more information."

Most concern about BPA has focused on its use in polycarbonate plastic bottles and canned food linings. But the voluminous list of products brought to light by EWG shows that Americans are exposed to BPA in food packaging far more widely than previously known. The array of products from 926 brands includes:

  • The lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments;
  • Aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays;
  • Bottles and tins of cooking oil;
  • Aluminum beverage cans, metal coffee cans and even beer kegs.

Food packaging is the largest source of exposure to BPA. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found it in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans sampled. In 2009, tests commissioned by EWG were the first to find BPA in the umbilical cords of nine of 10 infants sampled.

California officials added the hormone disrupting chemical to the Proposition 65 list, which requires warnings on products or store shelves with listed chemicals. The state allowed instead for generic warning signs at checkout registers that don't name specific products.

Food companies set up a website with a list of products, but made little effort to publicize it. The website is a chaotic jumble—incomplete, inconsistent, poorly organized and not searchable.

EWG downloaded files from the industry website, which were in a variety of non-compatible formats, then extracted the brand names, product descriptions and barcodes. The data was then matched against information in Food Scores and the matches were hand-reviewed to ensure accuracy.

Despite the mounting evidence of BPA's health risks at very low doses, federal regulation is lagging. EWG urges regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal levels to regulators, federal and state lawmakers to look at the evidence and reassess BPA's use in the U.S. food supply.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Your Guide to Optimal Nutrition During Preganancy

Pollution in People: Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Americans' Bodies

In 17 Days Vermont's Historic GMO Labeling Law Goes Into Effect: Is Big Food Ready?

Atrazine and Glyphosate More Harmful Than Scientists Once Thought

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
GMO
Soy plants. Pixabay

Mexico Revokes Monsanto's Permit to Market GMO Soy in Seven States

Monsanto has lost its permit to commercialize genetically modified (GMO) soy in seven Mexican states, Reuters reported.

Mexico's agriculture sanitation authority SENASICA revoked the permit—a decision that the St. Louis-based seed giant called unjustified.

Keep reading... Show less
Renewable Energy
Puerto Rico National Guard / Flickr

This Brilliant Initiative Is Sending 100 Solar Trailers to Puerto Rico for Free

A remarkable collaborative effort to deploy portable solar energy systems to relieve critical areas in Puerto Rico is well underway.

The "Power On Puerto Rico" project from the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide solar energy cooperative, and Amurtel, an international disaster relief nonprofit, is sending 100 off-grid Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to the storm-battered island.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Rebecca Gruby, CC BY-ND

To Succeed, Large Ocean Sanctuaries Need to Benefit Both Sea Life and People

By Rebecca Gruby, Lisa Campbell, Luke Fairbanks and Noella Gray

There is growing concern that the world's oceans are in crisis because of climate change, overfishing, pollution and other stresses. One response is creating marine protected areas, or ocean parks, to conserve sea life and key habitats that support it, such as coral reefs.

In 2000, marine protected areas covered just 0.7 percent of the world's oceans. Today 6.4 percent of the oceans are protected—about 9 million square miles. In 2010, 196 countries set a goal of protecting 10 percent of the world's oceans by 2020.

Keep reading... Show less
iStock

Geoengineering Could Create More Problems Than It Could Solve

By Tim Radford

Geoengineering—the untested technofix that would permit the continued use of fossil fuels—could create more problems than it could solve.

By masking sunlight with injections of sulphate aerosols in the stratosphere, nations could perhaps suppress some of the devastating hurricanes and typhoons that in a rapidly warming world threaten northern hemisphere cities. But they could also scorch the Sahel region of Africa, to threaten millions of lives and livelihoods, according to new research.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
Tesla's massive Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Tesla Finishes Building World's Largest Battery Month and a Half Ahead of Schedule

Elon Musk has won an audacious bet he made back in March to build a battery system for South Australia in “100 days from contract signature or it is free."

The 100-megawatt Powerpack system is the world's largest, or three times bigger than Tesla and Edison's battery at Mira Loma in Ontario, California.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure

REI Urges Customers to #OptOutside on Black Friday

BY Connor McGuigan

REI will once again shutter its doors on Black Friday as part of its #OptOutside campaign, which encourages people to forgo bargain-hunting and spend America's busiest shopping day outside. The outdoor retailer will also suspend online sales and provide all 12,000 employees with a paid day off to enjoy the outdoors.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Blocked From Discussing Climate Change, Valve-Turner Faces 10 Years in Prison After Felony Conviction

By Julia Conley

After a judge refused to allow him to share his reasons for shutting off a tar sands pipeline valve in a protest of fossil fuel mining, 65-year-old climate activist Leonard Higgins was found guilty of criminal mischief—a felony—and misdemeanor criminal trespass. Higgins faces up to 10 years in jail and as much as $50,000 in fines.

"I'm happy for the opportunity to share why I had to shut down this pipeline, and I really appreciate the time and dedication of the jury and the judge," Higgins said. "I was disappointed and surprised by the verdict, but even more disappointed that I was not allowed a 'necessity defense,' and that I wasn't allowed to talk about climate change as it related to my state of mind. When I tried to talk about why I did what I did I was silenced. I'm looking forward to an appeal."

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
iStock

How to Talk to Your Relatives About Climate Change: A Guide for the Holidays

By Abigail Dillen

Most people who know me are too polite to question climate change when I'm around, but there are relatives and old family friends who hint at the great divide between their worldviews and mine. I think they sincerely believe that I would crush the economy forever if I had my way. On the other end of the spectrum are friends and family who are alarmed by climate and genuinely want to know what we and our elected officials can do about it. But no matter who's in the mix, it's hard to bring my work home for the holidays. Most of the time it feels easier to leave our existential crisis unmentioned.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!