News: Most Canadians have BPA in urine, lead traces in blood

The use of toxic substance BPA may have been banned from use in baby bottles and in the lining of


The use of toxic substance BPA may have been banned from use in baby bottles and in the lining of cans of formula, but according to a report from Health Canada, that hasn’t put a stop to exposure.

Traces of BPA are present in the urine of 95 per cent of Canadians – including children as young as three, according to the report.

In fact, children aged 3 to 5 years and 6 to 11 years had the highest BPA levels in their urine.

This is a scary stat, considering that some studies suggest BPA exposure can affect neural development and behaviour in animals in early life (though the effect of low levels on humans is unknown).

The report also details lead levels in blood: “In 2009 to 2011, 100% of Canadians aged 3 to 79 had lead in their blood.”

However, most people had blood lead levels lower than the level at which action is recommended to reduce exposure.

Though blood lead levels in Canadians have decreased since 2009, there is evidence to indicate that negative health effects are occurring at lower levels of exposure than previously thought, according to the report.

Though BPA is banned from use in baby bottles and formula cans, it is not banned in many other products – including canned goods and many plastics.

In fact, according to a 2009 report from The Globe and Mail, “Canned foods sold in Canada contain the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A at concentrations as much as double the levels that prompted many consumers to shun plastic baby bottles and water bottles.”

Scary stuff.

Personally, I only buy canned goods that are BPA-free (some brands include Amy’s and Eden Organic). And I avoid plastic as much as possible.

Do you think the use of BPA should be banned in Canada? Are you concerned about the results of this study?

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

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