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Bisphenol A: to be avoided

It is advisable to avoid canned food and plastic packaging for storing and re-heating food and beverages, especially for pregnant women and infants.

Bisphenol A migrates from food packaging and enters the body chiefly via the digestive tract. It is an endocrine disruptor which crosses the placental barrier.

Some studies suggest that bisphenol A causes coronary disease in humans, exposes people to type 2 diabetes, and can have harmful effects on reproduction and development.

In rodents, there is a great deal of evidence of the harmful effects of low doses of bisphenol A on reproduction, the metabolism of lipids and neurological development, generally linked to exposure in the womb or postnatally.

In France, bisphenol A has been banned from infant feeding bottles since 30 June 2010, and from packaging materials for foods aimed at infants under 3 since 1 January 2013. This ban will be extended to all food packaging from 1 January 2015.

Bisphenol A is not the only substance present in food packaging that can disrupt the endocrine system. Toxicology knowledge concerning bisphenol A substitutes is still incomplete.

The exposure of adults and infants to bisphenol A can be radically reduced by eating a varied diet based on fresh produce, and avoiding the use of plastic dishes.

In order to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors present in food packaging, it is better to eat fresh food and to avoid cans and plastic packaging for storing and reheating food and beverages.

These precautions are particularly important for pregnant women and infants.

©Prescrire 1 September 2013

"Bisphenol A: a body of evidence supporting exposure reduction" Prescrire Int 2013; 22 (141): 219-223. (Pdf, subscribers only).

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