Study: Fresh food diet cuts exposure to chemical BPA
By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
Adults and children can reduce their exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals, including bisphenol-A (BPA), by eating more fruits and vegetables and less food from plastic containers and metal cans, a new study out today says.
A group of 20 San Francisco residents had 66% less BPA in their urine after spending three days on a diet of fresh, organic and unpackaged food, scientists found. Their levels of another chemical, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or DEHP, fell 53% to 56%.
"The is the first study to provide clear evidence that food packaging is a major source of BPA and DEHP exposure in children and adults," says co-author Julia G. Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that studies environmental factors in women's health.
BPA is so prevalent in food packaging and other consumer items that prior research has detected its presence in at least 90% of Americans. It's used to harden plastics in products such as bottles and cups and is also found in the linings of metal cans and thermal cash register receipts. Phthalates such as DEHP are used to soften PVC and other plastics.
Much debate exists about what constitutes a safe level of these chemicals, which have been linked in studies to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, male infertility and other health problems.