Published on October 5th, 2011 | by belleterre
BPA and Canned Goods: How to Protect Yourself
For several years now there have been on and off discussions and controversy surrounding the dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA). It has been long known that BPA is an endocrine disruptor and dangerous for infants, children, and women who are pregnant. These concerns drew enough attention that the European Union and Canada now completely ban BPA in baby bottles.
Reports that began in 2008 went a step further and left consumers questioning the safety of long-term exposure for everyone. These reports linked BPA to various conditions including heart disease, sexual difficulties and, most recently, breast cancer. As of now, the US has not banned BPA in any products and consumers are left with the responsibility of knowing the risks of BPA exposure and protecting themselves.
What Items Contain BPA?
Many, many consumer goods contain BPA. It can be quite disturbing when you realize just how far reaching the chemical is. Recently the focus has turned specifically toward canned goods. We’ve known for some time that BPA was present in these items, but recent research has brought this back to the forefront by finding high BPA levels in canned goods that are marketed specifically to kids.
What Can Consumers Do to Avoid Exposure?
The canned food concern is a bit hard to tackle. This recent controversy may serve as the turning point and push the government toward a ban. In the meantime, seek out manufacturers that offer BPA-free canned goods. Eden Foods is a great option.
For those of us who would like to can our own food instead of purchasing from the grocery store, we are also faced with the BPA concern. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone’s favorite canning jar lids also contains BPA. So what’s a girl (or guy…or family) to do?
BPA-Free Home Canning Alternatives
One option is to use European style canning jars. As an example, Weck offers jars that are BPA free. The jars and lids are glass and have a reusable rubber gasket. As a side perk, they are absolutely gorgeous. The downsides? Replacing your canning arsenal is not a cheap endeavor and these jars are quite expensive to purchase in the US and Canada. It should also be noted that although this style jar is frequently used abroad, the USDA does not consider it a recommended canning option.
Another alternative is to purchase Tattler Products. Their two piece lid set looks remarkably like the typical version used in the US, but it contains no BPA and they work with standard canning jars. As a bonus, their products are USA Made.
What are you doing to protect yourself from BPA exposure?