5 Ways to Limit BPA Exposure

I feel like a broken record since I’ve blogged about it here, here and here (and even included a BPA-free bottle in my gift guide, here), but BPA, or bisphenol A, is one of those substances that keeps me awake at night. Exposure has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, prostate and breast cancer, plus issues with fetal development and fertility (among other things). The worst part is that it’s in so many things, from sippy cups to cosmetics, which makes it impossible to avoid.

With that in mind, the results of this new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shouldn’t come as a surprise. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health measured the amount of BPA in the urine of people who consumed canned soup for five days in a row (BPA is frequently used in the linings of canned goods). The result? A more than 1,000 percent increase in the concentration of BPA compared with when people ate fresh soup daily for five days.

I don’t eat canned soup very often since I prefer to make my own (there’s a big batch of turkey soup in my fridge right now), but I do like to use canned tomatoes and tomato paste in my soups. However, I suspect that canned tomatoes would likely need to be in a can with an epoxy (read: BPA) liner because they’re so acidic—which means I need to find a store where I can buy tomatoes in glass jars.

However, I’ve never seen a BPA-free label on a can, and even a quick web search has given me conflicting information, so I’ve pulled together a list of ways to limit your exposure to BPA in your food:

  • Environmental Working Group suggests that rinsing canned fruit or vegetables with water prior to heating and serving could lessen BPA ingestion.
  • Buy canned goods from these seven companies who don’t use BPA (or only use it for certain acidic foods).
  • Look for vegetables in glass jars. There may be a BPA-containing lining on the underside of the jar’s lid, but the chances of BPA leaching into the food through that lining is much smaller than if there’s an epoxy lining on the entire inside of a can.
  • Buy dry soup mixes instead of canned soup. (You can also control the amount of sodium and preservatives this way.)
  • Avoid plastic food containers, especially to heat up your food. Heat can cause higher amounts of BPA to leach into your food.

Do you try to limit your BPA exposure? What tips do you have to share? —Aleigh

(Image via Steven Depolo)

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