New Reasons to Avoid BPA

Today, scientists gave us even more ammunition to use in the fight against bisephenol A (BPA) — the synthetic estrogen present in many plastics and packaged foods. Ever since low levels of BPA were shown to be toxic to mice in 1997, the chemical has been steadily in the news as researchers around the world keep unlocking the many ways that it leaches into our foods. From today’s press release:

The French National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) found BPA caused a negative reaction in the intestine of rats – even at low doses. The report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences and focused on the digestive tract as the first organ the chemical comes into contact with after being consumed.

INRA said its team orally administered doses of BPA to the rats that were equivalent to about 10 times less than the daily amount considered safe for humans. The Toulouse-based body’s research was also carried out on human intestine cells and revealed the chemical lowered the permeability of the intestines and the immune system’s response to digestive inflammation. They also found that newborn rats exposed to BPA in the uterus and during feeding have a higher risk of developing severe intestinal inflammation in adulthood.

“These findings illustrate the intestine’s great sensitivity to Bisphenol A and open new research paths for characterising and evaluating the effects of endocrine disruptors from food,” said a statement from the researchers.

It added: “They may also contribute to risk assessment and the determination of new acceptable exposure thresholds for these molecules.”

In the past, we’ve primarily been concerned about BPA from a hormonal point of view. The regular presence of synthetic estrogen in our food supply can have many negative effects on fertility, normal human growth, cancerous growth, and more. Yet now we can add one more element to our growing list of wrongs: it harms our guts. (And you all remember how I feel about our guts, right?)

How to avoid BPA exposure:

  • Because of the ubiquitous presence of BPA in the linings of canned foods, you should limit your consumption of industrialized canned goods (particularly if you’re pregnant or nursing).
  • Avoid polycarbonate plastics, particularly those labeled as plastic #7 and #3. Don’t eat or drink out of these containers; don’t store foods in these containers; and don’t heat foods in these containers. As an alternative, use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers NOT lined with plastics.

(picture by seaotter22)


  1. says

    I have been gradually reducing the plastic I come in contact with. We no longer buy anything in BPA-lined metal cans, and store everything we possibly can in glass jars. For the few plastic things we still have, we are working to get them all into plastics labeled #2, 4 and 5 exclusively. But then I see bulk food bins made of plastic. When a recent public works project unearthed our water pipes, I was shocked to see they are PVC: #3. The “bad” plastics are ubiquitous so every bit of reduction I can manage that is under my own control is worth it.
    .-= Local Nourishment´s last blog post …Family Food Times: Birth of an Activist =-.

  2. says

    It seems every day we discover one more chemical that has dangerous effects on our bodies – you have to wonder at what point we just can’t handle anymore, (some would say we are way past that point already). Not to mention chemicals like BPA are everywhere – I didn’t know it was in soup cans for example. Can we really cut out all the BPA from our daily use if we don’t even know where it is coming from? Especially since I would imagine most water pipes are made of PVC like Local Nourishment stated above – I guess we either evolve into “glowing green men” or we go the way of the dinosaur.
    .-= Earth Friendly Goodies´s last blog post …Breaking News: Rufus the Puppy Responsible for Organic Dog Treats =-.

    • says

      It does seem rather hopeless, doesn’t it? We simply try to do the best we can with what we’ve got and hope that our good nutrition is building a strong enough liver to handle all the detoxing that our bodies need to do.

  3. Tammy says

    I have been reducing our plastic use for some time but still have a few canned goods I buy, but plan on eliminating them as soon as I can.

    Question for anyone that knows…. are all metal cans lined with BPA? I know some cans I buy have this white plastic looking coating to them and others don’t have anything noticeable to my eye anyway, just curious if all canned goods are bad.


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