(NaturalNews) Bisphenol A (BPA), the endocrine-disrupting plastics compound that has garnered much attention for its prevalence in infant- and water bottles, is far more common in an even more widely used family of products: canned foods and beverages.
Almost 100 percent of canned food and beverage products on the market are lined with a resin made from BPA, and have been since the 1940s. These epoxy resins prevent the metal of the can from influencing the flavor of the food. More importantly, they prevent compounds in the food from reacting with the metal, causing spoilage and even causing cans to explode.
Exposure from this source is "far more extensive" than from plastic bottles, said Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester in New York. After all, BPA is known to leach from cans into food, the chemical is used in nearly all canned products, and nearly everyone consumes such products regularly.
BPA is known to mimic estrogen and otherwise interfere with the hormonal system, and studies have linked it to elevated risks of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In January, the FDA admitted for the first time that "some concern" exists over the chemical's effects.
More recent findings are even more troubling, suggesting that BPA can effect "epigenetic changes," modifying the way that the body's genes are expressed in a way that can be passed on to an exposed person's children and grandchildren. One of these changes removes carbon groups that lock DNA from being affected by estrogens in the environment. According to Yale University researcher Hugh Taylor, this means that BPA can increase the impact of naturally occurring estrogens like those found in soy, increasing a person's risk of breast cancer and other conditions.
"It has permanent, lasting effects," Taylor said. "The adult exposure is concerning, but I think the fetal exposure is worse."
"I tell my pregnant patients to avoid products containing it. Even a fleeting exposure in pregnancy can cause lasting damage."