03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Cans: A Source Of BPA

Consumer concern, raised by reports that polycarbonate plastic bottles leach a hormone-disrupting chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), has driven some manufacturers to switch to other types of plastic for making bottles. But polycarbonate plastic bottles and food containers are just one potential source of the BPA in our bodies. BPA is also used in the epoxy resin that lines the inside of metal food and soda cans—even infant formula. In fact, most people are probably exposed to more BPA from eating canned food or drinking canned soda than from drinking out of a polycarbonate bottle. BPA leaches out of the can liner into the food or drink, especially when the food is acidic such as is the case with tomato-based products or sodas.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a hormone-disrupting chemical that has been associated with reproductive abnormalities and hormonal changes. BPA exposure is particularly a concern for babies, young children and pregnant women. Though scientists have been concerned about potential health threats since the early 1990s, the FDA and the federal government have yet to implement any protective regulatory framework for hormone-disrupting chemicals such as BPA.

In response to consumer concern, a few packaged food companies, such as Eden Foods and Heinz, have begun transitioning to alternatives for canned goods. Meanwhile, Hain Celestial and Nestle are involved in researching and testing of alternatives to BPA and have plans to phase out the chemical in some products.

What can you do to reduce your exposure to BPA today? Read on to find out.