bisphenol A


Which brands use BPA?


You’ve probably heard of bisphenol A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen found in the linings of many food cans. One of the nastiest endocrine disruptors on the market, BPA has been linked to a variety of serious disorders, including cancer, reproductive damage and heart disease.

But I bet you haven’t heard this: Consumers have NO reliable way of knowing which canned foods use BPA-based epoxy in their linings. Crazy, right?

At EWG, we thought so too, which is why we’re proud to release our latest analysis, BPA in Canned Food: Behind the Brand Curtain. We developed this report to help consumers like you determine which products contain BPA and which brands you can count on for BPA-free products.

Click here to check out the full report and get the facts on which canned food products still contain BPA.


After scrutinizing more than 250 brands of canned food, EWG analysts found that while many companies have publicly pledged to stop using BPA in their cans, more than 110 brands still line all or some of their metal cans with an epoxy resin containing BPA.

EWG divides the brands into four categories: those using cans with BPA, those using BPA-free cans for some products, those always using BPA-free cans and those that are unclear. That way, you can tell exactly which products to seek out and which to avoid.

Federal regulations don’t require manufacturers to label their products so you can identify cans with BPA-based linings. That’s why EWG stepped up to do this research — so you have the resources you need to avoid BPA and shop smarter.

Click here to learn more and see which canned food brands you should avoid and which ones you can count on for BPA-free products.

While you can’t yet rely on federal regulations to safeguard you and your family from toxic chemicals like BPA, you can always depend on EWG.

Thanks for making this work possible.

Recent Studies State Chemical In Plastic Liquid Containers Contain Tox

For BPA, Does the Dose Make the Poison?


For those who keep up with environmental health research and chemical regulations, it is no surprise to come across conflicting reports on the safety or risk of various compounds. This week, in the case of the compound bisphenol A (BPA), these conflicting reports happened to emerge almost simultaneously. On January 21st, the European Food Safety Authority declared that BPA “poses no health risk to consumers of any age group…at current exposure levels.” The next day, a study published in the journal PLoS Genetics showed that even low and short-term exposures to BPA and other hormone-mimicking compounds could alter stem cells and lead to lower sperm counts.

BPA is a common ingredient in plastics used for food and drink containers. Its hormone-like properties allow it to disrupt the endocrine system, with potential health effects ranging from reproductive issues to cancer. Though BPA has been banned in baby bottles in the U.S., and BPA-free products have become widely available since concerns about the compound were first raised in 2008, it remains in products from water bottles to the inside coatings of cans.

David McNew via Getty Images

‘The dose makes the poison’ is a well-known adage in toxicology, implying that even hazardous chemicals can be harmless at low enough concentrations. However, decades of research have shown this to be an overly simplistic way of analyzing toxic exposures.  Dr. Theo Colborn, who passed away on December 14th, 2014, was a pioneering researcher in the field of endocrine disruption and a tireless advocate for precautionary chemical regulation. Her research on endocrine disruption demonstrated that even very low concentrations of harmful chemicals could result in changes to the reproductive system, particularly in developing babies and children who have less of a tolerance for exposure than adults. She also demonstrated that not all effects of toxic chemicals are immediately apparent, but can occur decades and even generations later.

The study published last week focused on both questions of concentration and timing. The researchers tested estrogenic compounds including BPA on mice, and found that they alter the stem cells, or undifferentiated cells, which are responsible for sperm production later in life. Patricia Hunt, the researcher who led the study, told Environmental Health News that exposure to even low doses of estrogens “is not simply affecting sperm being produced now, but impacting the stem cell population, and that will affect sperm produced throughout the lifetime.”

Uncertainties remain in the wake of this study. For instance, the researchers are still investigating whether the changes observed can cross generations, or whether the same changes can occur in human reproductive stem cells. The EFSA also recognized uncertainties in non-dietary sources of BPA, and they are still conducting long-term studies in rats. While scientists and regulators continue to chase answers, this past week shines a spotlight on the complicated realm of environmental health risk assessment, and shows the continued relevance of Dr. Theo Colborn’s work and legacy. Dose is indeed important in making a poison, but so is timing of exposure, and time itself in revealing the chronic and transgenerational effects of chemicals.


California Decides Chemical BPA is Toxic


California on Thursday became the latest state to place restrictions on the chemical known as Bisphenol-A and declare it a reproductive toxicant.

The chemical, commonly known as BPA, is found in hard plastic bottles, the cans of food and beverages, sales receipts and dental sealants.

Growing research suggests that BPA, believed to be found in the bodies of 90 percent of the U.S. population, is an endocrine disruptor linked to infertility and other harm.

Consumer health advocates have pushed the state Environmental Protection Agency for years to recognize that BPA causes birth defects.

Dr. Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist at the San Francisco chapter of the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised the state’s decision.

“They haven’t backed down, and I think that’s to the benefit of public health in California,” she said.

The state agency is targeting BPA under Proposition 65, which publishes lists of chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. When products in California contain hazardous amounts of a listed toxicant, they are required to carry warning labels. BPA could now show up on the warning labels of hundreds of household items.

The law does not ban the compounds, but consumer backlash can lead them to be phased out of the market.

A state panel of health experts first considered recognizing BPA as a reproductive hazard in 2009 but decided there wasn’t enough evidence.

This time, the state based its decision on a federal report that expressed concern about BPA’s effects on development of the prostate gland and brain, and behavioral effects in fetuses and infants.

The American Chemistry Council is suing the state to keep BPA off the list. Spokeswoman Kathryn St. John noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says BPA is “safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods.”

Story By: Stephanie M. Lee


FDA Caves into Chemical Industry Pressure


March 30, 2012

Toxic BPA: FDA Responds to NRDC Request to Remove BPA From Food Supply

Environmental Health Advocates Demand More Protection

Bisphenol A linked to obesity,  reproductive and other endocrine illness, cancer

(Washington, DC)  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made an announcement today responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to prohibit BPA use as a food additive.  The Wall Street Journal has reported that FDA says it “lacks scientific in formation” to restrict the chemical.

As part of a court ordered agreement that resulted when NRDC sued FDA for failure to respond to their petition, the decision must include an final evaluation of BPA safety. Environmental health advocates are still waiting for this evaluation.

“Obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease and cancer are all associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA. We can prevent this exposure by doing what so many other countries have done, and ban it from products related to food,” comments Cindy Luppi from Clean Water Action, New England.

“The chemical industry claims that the amounts of BPA that people are exposed to are ‘safe.’ The fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented that over 90% of all Americans have BPA in our bodies, and the fact that the chemical is thought not to stay in the body for very long, means we are being exposed over and over again.” explains Anne Hulick, Coordinator, Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut.

“State legislatures around the country are years ahead of the federal government on BPA. Because of health concerns and a strong demand from consumers, states have taken, and will continue to take, swift action to protect their citizens from BPA, said Sarah Doll, national director for SaferStates.  ”Ten states have already passed policies to restrict the use of BPA in food and beverage containers and additional policies are pending in numerous state houses. So while the FDA continues to delay much-needed action, many states will continue to show BPA the door.

“The next decision the FDA should make is to remove ‘responsible for protecting the public health’ from its mission statement,” said Jane Houlihan, Scientist and Senior Vice President for Research of the Environmental Working Group. “It’s false advertising. Allowing a chemical as toxic as BPA, and linked to so many serious health problems, to remain in food means the agency has veered dangerously off course.”

“As a nurse who sees chronic diseases and disorders linked to BPA exposure, I strongly believe in using the best available science to protect human health. The FDA had a golden opportunity to use sound science to protect Americans from a dangerous chemical and restore the public trust. Instead, they caved to industry pressure and squandered that opportunity,” comments Katie Huffling, MS, RN, CNM Director of Programs, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

“The shift away from BPA in the marketplace has actually created economic growth as seen with the expansion of companies like Owens-Illinois, a multinational glass company that has had to step up hiring and production to meet the need for safer BPA-free glass baby  bottles,” adds Mike Schade from Center for Health, Environment and Justice. “And even BPA maker Sunoco has changed its policy and won’t even sell BPA to manufacturers whose products can expose BPA to children.  Phasing out BPA is a win for our health, and a win for greener jobs and a greener economy”  

“FDA has had access to the copius amounts of new science documenting links to adverse health impacts from BPA exposure,” says Daniella Russo from the Plastics Pollution Coalition. “Is industry influence creating a delay in FDA moving forward to protect the public? The longer they delay, the more people will suffer from adverse health impacts of this chemical.”

This is just another example of how the public cannot rely on its government agencies to be ahead of the curve in carrying out its mandate to protect the population, not least of which the most vulnerable of us, infants and the developing fetus,” Should be “This is just another example of how the public cannot rely on its government agencies to be ahead of the curve in carrying out their mandate to protect the population, not least of whom are the most vulnerable of us, infants and the developing fetus,” adds Lin Katz Chary, Lin Kaatz Chary, PhD, MPH, with the Indiana Toxics Action.

FDA has responded to a 2011 American Chemistry Council petition to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups by opening up that petition for public comment just last month. FDA has never asked for public comment on the 2008 NRDC petition and has never responded as required by law to the petition.

FDA had triggered a Congressional investigation in 2005 when they used documents from the 1970’s provided by independent contractor ICF, a consulting firm that, at the time, represented BPA manufacturers. The documents were produced by Dow Chemical and addressed two studies, which formed the basis for the previous FDA approval of BPA.

Other BPA manufacturers such as Eastman Chemicals, even though they are still making the synthetic sex hormone, are also making a BPA “alternative,” Tritan, and many manufacturers are marketing their products made with Tritan as being “BPA-free.”

Environmental health advocates are demanding that FDA take a stand and refuse industry influence and remove BPA exposure from the marketplace.

For more information: <>

Available for Interviews

Lin Kaatz Chary, PhD, MPH, Indiana Toxics Action, Indiana Toxics Coalition 219 938-0209, Lin can address the growing field of Green Chemistry as companies search for less toxic substitutions to chemicals such as BPA.

Sarah Doll
, National Director, SAFERStates, 503 522-6110, Sarah can detail the efforts of individual states on restricting BPA.

Jane Houlihan, Senior Scientist and Vice President for Research of the Environmental Working Group. To speak with Jane, contact Alex Formuzis, 202-939-9140 or Jane can address scientific studies linking BPA to adverse health impacts.

Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM, Director of Programs, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments 410 706-1778, Katie can address the growing awareness about endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA among the health care professionals community.

Anne Hulick, Coordinator, Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut, 860 232-6232  860 302-4861, Anne can address efforts in her state to restrict BPA.

Cindy Luppi, Clean Water Action New England Director 617 338-8131 x 208   617 640-2779 Cindy has helped lead successful efforts with Clean Water Action to phase out BPA in varied products from  baby bottles and sippy cups to thermal receipt paper in a number of states including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, and can address efforts in those states as well as market shifts.

Daniella Dimitrova Russo. Co-founder and Executive Director Plastic Pollution Coalition.(o) 415 5130309  (m) 415 6086423 | Daniella will talk about the crisis in plastics pollution that is also creating ubiquitous BPA exposure in seas  and landfills.

Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) 212 964.3680,
. Mike has been involved with market campaigns around BPA and an address the shifts with baby bottle manufacturers and retailers in response to environmental health concerns about BPA

ResourcesFor a list of scientific and product testing studies and general media assistance, contact Stephenie Hendricks, 415 258-9151,

Baby’s Toxic Bottle,

Breast Cancer Fund’s “Cans Not Cancer” Campaign:

Consumer’s Union Report on BPA in Canned Food:

Exploding Industry’s BPA Myths,

Green Century Fund’s Report on Companies’ Use of BPA in Packaging:

NRDC (Sarah Janssen’s Switchboard Blog),

No Silver Lining, An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods

CHEJ co-authored Baby's Toxic Bottle, which found BPA leaching from popular baby bottles.

Toxic BPA: Chemical Industry Claims Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups are BPA-Free, Asks FDA for New Rule


Advocacy Groups Respond to ACC announcement,
Demand Environmental Health Protections Now from  Bisphenol A (BPA) in Can Linings and Thermal Receipt Paper

CHEJ co-authored Baby's Toxic Bottle, which found BPA leaching from popular baby bottles.

(Washington, DC) The American Chemistry Council issued a statement on Friday about the synthetic sex hormone bisphenol A ( BPA) that some of its member companies produce, an endocrine disrupting chemical made from petroleum products used in canned food linings, thermal receipt paper, and many polycarbonate plastic products such as baby bottles and sippy cups. Nearly a dozen states have already implemented restrictions on BPA. California’s governor signed a bill restricting BPA  this past week.

The National Work Group for Safe Markets, a coalition of environmental health groups including  Clean and Healthy New York, Center for Health Environment & Justice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Breast Cancer Fund, and others, responded today to the announcement by demanding a phase out of BPA from the other products that expose people to the toxic chemical.

In recent years, the group released two national reports investigating BPA leaching from popular baby bottles and canned food sold at major retailers across America. The group  demands that FDA resist industry pressure and institute a policy for phasing out BPA immediately, particularly in canned food.

“Three years after NRDC petitioned the FDA to revoke approval of BPA in these same products, the Agency still has not acted to protect  the public,” said Dr. Sarah Janssen, Senior Scientist with Natural Resources Defense Council. “Instead, the FDA seems to be looking out for the interests of large corporations. This is no way to carry out its mission.  It’s time for the FDA to do its job. More and more scientific studies studies demonstrate  that  BPA is a hormone disrupting chemical that affects the developing brain, reproductive system and can even increase the risk of cancer later in life. There is enough existing science now to show cause for removing this chemical from the marketplace. People, especially children, are continually being exposed while industry does its best to force delays by FDA.”

Laura N. Vandenberg, PhD, Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Tufts University, comments: “Removing BPA from baby bottles was an important step to protect infants from exposure to this hazardous chemical. But what is being done to protect pregnant women and fetuses, as well as other vulnerable populations such as cancer patients? These individuals are not exposed to BPA from baby bottles. To prevent widespread exposures, we need to remove BPA from canned goods, reusable food and beverage containers, receipt papers, and the many other sources that have yet to be identified.”

“France has just declared its intention to phase out BPA in all food sources,” says Bobbi Chase Wilding, with Clean & Healthy New York, “The US is lagging behind other countries’ protections from BPA.  FDA signals they’ll act on ACC’s petition, but will they protect Americans from BPA in food can linings?”

“BPA has become a ‘line in the sand’ for the petrochemical industry as they fight having any regulations whatsoever,” explains Mike Schade from the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ). “The chemical industry has invested millions of dollars lobbying against local and state BPA laws. They cite these very laws as a key reason why FDA should change food packaging regulations. The petrochemical association has wasted their members’ money, and should have invested that money in developing safer substitutions.”

Mia Davis of the National Workgroup for Safe Markets says “As a woman interested in starting a family, I’m glad that the chemical industry has stopped fighting parents and consumer advocates who were demanding safe, nontoxic bottles. The next step is clear: we want BPA out of all food containers, including the linings of canned foods, and we want to know that all of the chemicals used in these products are safe for moms, babies, everyone.”

Dow Chemical, a BPA manufacturer, is a member of the ACC and another trade group, the North American Metal Packaging Alliance. Both groups have defended the use of BPA and insisted on it’s safety based on flawed scientific studies. Two Dow Chemical studies from the 1970’s were used by the ICF research firm (whose clients included BPA manufacturers) to “prove” to FDA that BPA was “safe.” The obsolete Dow studies used by FDA in their earlier decision, now being revised, and pressure from the American Chemistry Council, prompted a Congressional investigation in 2008. Since then, alongside  pressure from environmental health groups and more and more modern scientific studies being published on BPA, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have stated some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.


Baby’s Toxic Bottle <> , a report on BPA on plastic baby bottles, by National Work Group for Safe Markets

No Silver Lining, <> a report on BPA in cans, by National Work Group for Safe Markets

Consumer’s Union Can Testing Study  <>

Breast Cancer Fund’s BPA in Children’s Food Report <>

Center for Progressive Reform White Paper Explodes Industry Myths about BPA <> ; [PDF]

Mind, Disrupted:  <> How Toxic Chemicals May Change How We Think and Who We Are, A Biomonitoring Project with Leaders of the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Community. Biomonitoring report, including for BPA.


What you can do to avoid BPA — eat fresh food!


CHEJ’s been sounding the alarm on bisphenol A (BPA) for the past few years in baby bottles, and canned food.

Now, a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that food packaging is a substantial source of exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which laboratory studies have linked to breast cancer, infertility, early puberty, and other serious health problems.

In this unprecedented human study, scientists at the Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute discovered an average drop of 60 percent in BPA levels when study participants ate a diet that avoided contact with BPA-containing food packaging, such as canned food and polycarbonate plastic.

“This study suggests that removing BPA from food packaging will remove the number one source of BPA exposure,” said Janet Gray, Ph.D., Science Advisor to the Breast Cancer Fund and professor at Vassar College. “The study should serve as a call to action for industry and government to get BPA out of food packaging and to fix the broken chemical management system that allows it to be there in the first place.”

Here’s what they did and found:

“For three days, we provided fresh food—not canned or packaged in plastic—to each family. They avoided canned foods and drinks and meals prepared outside the home.

The effect was significant. While the families were eating our food, their BPA levels dropped an average of 60 percent.

Our takeaway: you can reduce your BPA exposure by cooking fresh foods at home, avoiding canned foods, choosing glass and stainless steel food and beverage containers, and not microwaving in plastic.”

The Breast Cancer Fund has set up a nifty website with links to the study, a video featuring the authors, a wallet-guide you can download, and more!  Check it all out here.

Of course the chemical industry is saying you don’t have to worry your pretty little heart. No surprise there.

What are you doing to protect your family from BPA?

European Food Safety Authority concludes Bisphenol A (BPA) is harmless in small amounts: Will this affect the U.S. market?


European Food Safety Authority says not enough evidence to change their scientific advice to public. This ruling gives governments the justification to not ban the chemical. To read more about the ruling, click here: Chemical used in baby bottles ‘safe in small amounts’

What does this mean for the U.S.? This editorial piece gives you a glimpse of what may come. Click here to read editorial piece: Anti-BPA ‘science’ less than meets the eye – Fantasyland experiments lead to looney results

Put Down the Candy Kids! Your Next Cavity Filling Could Be Toxic


A new study found that treating and filling cavities could be toxic to your health. Dental sealants used by Dentists to treat cavities could expose children to the chemical BPA. BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical compound used in the creation of polycarbonate plastics. It can be found in many everyday items: hard-plastic water bottles (labeled 7 on the bottom), baby bottles, baby food jars, even the linings in canned foods and beverages. Bisphenol A is acutely toxic, and the toxins can leach from the plastic into liquids, especially when the containers are heated or scratched. BPA has been the subject of controversy in recent years due to a theory that high levels of BPA in the body can influence hormone levels and increase the risk of health problems.

 Materials used in white fillings or as sealants, which prevent future decay, can break down into BPA after coming in contact with saliva, says co-author Abby Fleisch, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston.

 Overall, the benefits of dental sealants outweigh the potential risks of a brief BPA exposure, says co-author Burton Edelstein, president of the Children’s Dental Health Project, who continues to recommend the procedures. BPA generally passes out of the body quickly and doesn’t build up in tissue.

 Well, it’s up to you to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks. Prevention is the key.


1. Avoid dental sealants or fillings during pregnancy when possible

2. Ask the dentist to use sealants made with a material called bis-GMA, rather than bis-DMA

3. Gargle with salt water for 30 seconds after sealant is placed, or ask dentist to rub the sealant with pumice on a cotton ball, to get rid of excess material that could leach BPA

Source: Pediatrics

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