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Bisphenol A traces found in baby food: Health Canada
Last Updated: Friday, July 10, 2009 11:04 AM ET Com
Health Canada says it has found bisphenol A in baby foods sold in glass jars with metal lids but says the level is "extremely low and poses no health or safety concerns."
The department found that among the products it tested where bisphenol A could be quantified, about 70 per cent had levels of less than one part per billion. That's well below the limit of 600 parts per billion set by a directive for bisphenol A (BPA) in food.
In a survey posted on its website Thursday, Health Canada also said its testing found low levels in some 18.5-litre polycarbonate bottles of drinking water.
BPA is used to make epoxy resins in the protective linings on the inside of metal lids and containers. The linings prevent corrosion of the metal and contamination.
The chemical also makes plastic hard and shatterproof and is found in water bottles, as well as consumer products like CDs. Studies have shown the chemical can imitate the female hormone estrogen, and it has been linked to cancer and infertility in animals.
Health Canada's findings covered 122 baby foods prepackaged in glass jars with metal lids, representing seven brands by six different companies. The baby food was bought in Ottawa last August.
The bottled water testing included samples of 54 different products representing 21 brands by 16 companies. They were bought in Ottawa stores in April 2008. The containers were made of metal, glass, high-density polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate and polycarbonate.
Levels of BPA from the non-polycarbonate water products were below the "method detection limit" of 0.5 parts per billion. But bisphenol A was detected in 13 of 17 samples from four of the five polycarbonate bottled water products. Concentrations ranged from 0.5 to a high of 8.82 parts per billion, with an average of 1.5 parts per billion.
"Since migration of BPA from [polycarbonate] containers into water at room temperature is very slow, it is likely that the products with higher BPA were exposed to heat (e.g., under the sun) during storage and/or transportation," the report said.
In a release issued by the Canadian Bottled Water Association on Thursday, executive director Elizabeth Griswold said the Health Canada study is "both validation and vindication."
"It clearly demonstrates that bottled water is a safe, healthy and portable alternative to other beverages," Griswold said.
In October 2008, Canada became the first country in the world to ban the import and sale of polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA, saying infants were more vulnerable than adults to such chemicals. The federal government also announced it would devote $1.7 million over three years to study the chemical. Health Canada's ongoing evaluation of bisphenol A has included a review of human and animal studies around the world, in addition to research into how much of the chemical is leaching from consumer products. The findings released Thursday are part of that research.
In March, Health Canada released a study of canned pop that found the vast majority of the drinks contain BPA...
With files from The Canadian Press