Mother Earth News had an eye-opening article this summer about the dangers of BPA leaching into food and water. After researching it more I've stopped buying canned foods and you might want to consider doing the same.
Apparently the lining in most cans of food is a BPA based epoxy. This chemical has been linked to all kinds of health problems because it mimics the action of natural estrogen. Foreign estrogens (also known as xenoestrogens) can upset normal hormonal balance, stimulate the growth and development of reproductive tumors (breast, uterine, prostate), impair fertility, and disrupt pregnancy. It can cross the placenta to affect the fetus and get into breast milk. It has also been linked to hyperactivity in kids.
BPA is also found in many drinking containers (including SIGG bottles, more about this at the bottom of this post), bottle caps, plastic cutlery, plastic food storage containers, toys, dental sealants, some dental composites, water pipes, eyeglass lenses, and more. It is also in printer ink, newspapers and carbonless receipts. Most recycled paper contains BPA, including paper towels and paper used to contain food.
COCA COLA is not only defending BPA as safe but is lobbying and publicizing it's safety to prevent regulations restricting it's use. And we believe that right?
Are you thinking "Oh hell, how am I going to make dinner without canned beans and tomato sauce? Is this one more thing I’m going to have to cook from scratch in all my copious amounts of free time?"?
Or "I'm trying to be healthy and drink more water but now my fancy expensive water bottle is poisoning me too?"
The Environmental Working Group tested 97 canned foods and found detectable levels of BPA in more than half of them. The highest concentrations were in canned meats, pasta and soups.
In September I wrote to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Eden Foods, Muir Glen, Amy's and EarthFare, asking if they had BPA in their cans. All but one (Eden Foods) replied that, yes, they did have BPA lined cans (Earthfare did not respond). Eden Food's beans do not have BPA in the cans, but their other products do.
Organic Grace has a list of several health food companies and their record on BPA in their cans. There are a few more starting to pop up with BPA free cans. Consumer pressure will really work here so I invite you to take action.
Sample letter - copy or adapt freely:
There is an alarming article in the last issue of Mother Earth News, and another I just read from the Organic Consumers Association about high levels of BPA in canned foods. BPA is known to cause cancer and infertility and to disrupt pregnancy. I am very concerned about this. I have chosen your products in the past because of their healthy content but I will not buy canned foods from your company again until the BPA is taken out of the cans. Eden Foods has apparently found a way to can their beans without BPA. Perhaps you should follow their lead.
I'm all for reusing things, but It's a good idea to discard water bottles that are scratched or clouded because most have BPA in them. SIGG is exchanging bottles purchased before August 2008 for new BPA free bottles. Details here. You must send yours back before 10/31/09.