A new survey by a food watchdog group
in the UK has shown that trace amounts of an estrogen-mimicking
compound known as bisphenol A (BPA) can be found in many canned
BPA is a chemical component of resins
used to coat some cans. The group tested
samples from canned goods sold in UK supermarkets
and found that low levels
of BPA could be found in 40.
BPA was detected at up to 0.07 milligrams
per kilogram (mg/kg) in 37 samples and at 0.35 to 0.42 mg/kg
in three further cans.
The supposed "safe" limit for
BPA is 3 mg/kg, according to the Food Standards Agency.
What constitutes a safe level of BPA consumption
is controversial. Some scientists have found that BPA produces
effects in animals at very low doses.
Research in animals has shown that BPA
enlarges the size of the prostate gland in mice, advances
the onset of puberty in females and reduces fertility in rats.
It is not known why BPA migrates into
certain foods and not others, though it seems that the risk
of seepage is higher when BPA is used as a linking agent between
the can and the food rather than just in the lining of the