What's Lurking in Your Food Packaging?

Canada declares Bisphenol A, a component found in many plastic packages, a health hazard

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Bisphenol A, one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the world with more than three million tons produced annually, has been declared a health hazard in Canada.

The declaration means Canadian health officials must now takes steps to implement legislation protecting citizens from the effects of bisphenol A, which is found in a wide array of common materials and food packaging as a component of polycarbonate plastic.

Canada is the first country to declare bisphenol A as a health hazard. The declaration follows analysis that indicates children and adolescents had the highest levels of exposure, deemed dangerous because of its estrogenic properties that affect the reproductive systems of animals and possibly humans.

Bisphenol A concentrations in Canada are approximately half the amount Americans are exposed to, according to Dr. Laura Vandenberg, Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.

Bisphenol A acts as an endocrine disruptor, which can mimic the body's own hormones and potentially lead to negative health effects.

The study was funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

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Review Date: 
February 23, 2011
Last Updated:
February 24, 2011