A gender-bending chemical hormone was found to be present in tests of popular canned kids food:
An advocacy group committed to exposing and eliminating environmental risks for breast cancer has taken aim at canned foods popular among kids, reheating the debate on bisphenol A.
A new report from the Breast Cancer Fund reveals 12 canned soups and pastas found to contain BPA -- an estrogen-like chemical raising concern among experts for its potential health effects in children, infants and fetuses.
Topping the list was Campbell's Disney Princess Cool Shapes with 148 parts per billion. The average level across all 12 cans was 49 parts per billion.
"The findings of this report outline the urgent need to remove BPA from food packaging -- a major source of exposure to this toxic hormone disruptor -- especially in foods marketed to children," the report states.
A recent study found that when healthy cells were exposed to BPA and methylparaben, they behaved like cancer cells:
Scientific studies have linked the chemicals to hormonal problems and reproductive health issues, among other problems.
In the latest study, researchers took noncancerous breast cells from high-risk patients, grew them in a laboratory and found that once the cells were exposed to bisphenol A and methylparaben, they started behaving like cancer cells.
Tamoxifen, a drug designed to prevent or treat cancer, slows down the growth of both healthy and cancerous breast cells and ultimately leads to their death. But when tamoxifen was introduced in the lab, the cells exposed to the two chemicals kept growing and didn't die, said Dr. William Goodson, senior clinical research scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute and lead author of the study.
Canadian officials have already placed a ban on BPA, declaring it toxic:
"We have immediately taken action on bisphenol A because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure families, Canadians and our environment are not exposed to a potentially harmful chemical," Tony Clement, the minister of health, said in a statement.
Clement said the action was based on a review of 150 worldwide studies. "It's pretty clear that the highest risk is for newborns and young infants," he said in a telephone interview.
The EU has banned BPA in baby bottles:
"The decision ... is good news for European parents who can be sure that as of mid-2011 plastic infant feeding bottles will not include BPA," said John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, in a statement. "There were areas of uncertainty, deriving from new studies, which showed that BPA might have an effect on development, immune response and tumor promotion,"
The Commission said EU states will outlaw the manufacture of polycarbonate feeding bottles containing the compound from March 2011, and ban their import and sale from June 2011, reports Reuters.
Think avoiding canned food will keep you safe? You could still get nabbed at checkout by BPA-lined receipt paper:
If you're worried about being exposed to the cancer-causing compound BPA, you may already know to be wary of some water bottles and food cans.
But you'll never guess where BPA, a.k.a. bisphenol A, is showing up now:
Cash register receipts.
Extraordinarily high levels of BPA were found on two-fifths of the paper receipts tested recently by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.
In some cases, the amount of BPA on a given receipt was 1,000 times the levels found in a can of food.