Business & Policy Corporate Responsibility BPA Danger May Be Greater From Tin Cans Than Water Bottles By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 Migrated Image Share Twitter Pinterest Email Business & Policy Corporate Responsibility Environmental Policy Economics Food Issues Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty ImagesDangers of Bisphenol A (BPA) From canned food According to the FDA, 17% of the American diet comes out of cans, and many of those have an epoxy liner made with Bisphenol A, a chemical which can mimic human estrogen and which is linked to breast cancer and early puberty in women. While the leaching of BPA from Nalgene water bottles and other polycarbonate bottles is a concern, the danger from canned food may be greater. The Environmental Working Group tested canned food bought across America and found BPA in more than half of them, at levels they call "200 times the government's traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals." There are no standards for BPA; it is allowed to be put in anything, and billions of pounds are produced each year. EWG found: Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests. Source: Environmental Working Group5 Ways to Beat BPA from Canned Food:Don't use canned baby formula: All U.S. manufacturers use BPA-based lining on the metal portions of the formula containers. If you must use formula, choose powered or liquid in plastic bottles. Don't eat canned food if you are pregnant. the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says "We don't want to tell people not to eat canned beans or tomatoes," said CSPI nutritionist David Schardt. "But at the same time, it makes sense for all parents, and especially pregnant and nursing women, to minimize the exposure of their kids' developing bodies and brains to BPA." Buy in bottles, not cans. Many products, like tomato sauces, are available in bottles as well as cans. Does that white epoxy on the inside of the metal lid have BPA? Probably, but there is a lot less surface area than the whole inside of a can. Start cooking instead of just heating. The fact that 17% of the American diet comes out of cans is just a scandal when we are surrounded by fresh food. Cook it from scratch and avoid the problem altogether. Demand BPA-free cans. Not every manufacturer uses it; Some brands, like Eden Foods and Trader Joes are BPA free. See a list of common brands and company responses at Organic Grace. Source: Environmental Working GroupThe Bisphenol A Controversy The American Chemistry Council continues to say "Human exposure to BPA from can coatings is minimal and poses no known risk to human health." Peter Foster at the National Post--an apologist for everything evil--asks, "But where are these "dozens of studies," and who did them? ", implying that everyone is relying on the work of one scientist, Frederick vom Saal. In fact, the Environmental Working Group lists over 100 peer-reviewed studies that found BPA to be toxic at low doses.