from Harvard School of Public Health, Nov 22, 2011 press release

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an endocrine-disrupting chemical recently banned from the manufacture of baby bottles and sippy cups.  BPA interferes with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity in humans.

It’s found in the linings of food and beverage cans, in polycarbonate bottles (identified by the recycling number 7) and in dentistry composites and sealants.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that a group of 75 volunteers who ate a 12-ounce serving of canned soup each day for five days had a 1221% increase in urinary BPA concentrations compared to when the same individuals consumed 12 ounces of fresh soup daily for five days.

The study is one of the first to quantify BPA levels in people after consuming canned foods.  Lead author of the study, Jenny Carwile is a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH.  She observed that “We’ve known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase the amount of BPA in your body.  This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use.”

Karin Michels, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, says “The magnitude of the rise in urinary BPA we observed after just one serving of soup was unexpected and may be of concern among individuals who regularly consume foods from cans or drink several canned beverages daily.  It may be advisable for manufacturers to consider eliminating BPA from can linings.”

Go the Environmental Working Group’s website for tips to avoid exposure to BPA at


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