Question: I’m concerned about the chemical BPA found in canned foods and plastic containers. I eat a lot of canned food. Will rinsing canned vegetables help get rid of the BPA residue?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
We all should be concerned about the harmful chemical BPA. BPA is an abbreviation for bisphenol A, and is used in the production of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin products. BPA cannot be easily rinsed out of canned foods or vegetables. It is absorbed into the food product, so rinsing will likely have little effect.
The FDA has warned physicians and the industry of BPA exposure concerns, and is recommending the following to reduce BPA exposure:
1) Plastic containers have recycle codes on the bottom. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes three or seven may be made with BPA.
2) Do not put very hot or boiling liquid that you intend to consume in plastic containers made with BPA. BPA levels rise in food when containers/products made with the chemical are heated and come in contact with the food.
3) Discard all bottles with scratches, as these may harbor bacteria and, if BPA-containing, lead to greater release of BPA.
Researchers have shown that BPA gets into food and beverages from the plastic liners of cans as well as from the plastic containers used to package food products. Animal studies of BPA exposure have tied the chemical to potential health risks including reproductive disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and possibly cancer.
So check your water bottles, sippy cups, and other plastic containers. Avoid heating, cooking, or microwaving food and beverages in any plastic container. Glass containers are preferred for cooking, heating, and for storage if you wish to minimize BPA exposure.