March 6, 2009
It turns out a cold drink isn’t the only thing in your pop can.
A Health Canada study found the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol-A in the vast majority of canned beverages – 69 of 72 of those tested contained residues.
The report appeared last month in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and included some 84 per cent of canned soft drinks sold in Canada.
The highest levels of BPA were in the linings of caffeine-loaded energy drinks, but the residue was also detected in ginger ale, diet cola, root beer and citrus-flavoured soda. The lining is used to prevent drinks from coming into contact with the metal.
Both the federal health agency and the beverage industry say the levels are extremely low and below regulatory limits, with one trade group saying the elevated numbers may be statistical errors. But some experiments have found harmful effects in animals at BPA concentrations as low as 1,000 times below Health Canada’s marker.
The average soft drink contains levels of around half a part per billion, resulting in 500 times more estrogen in people than normal.
Polycarbonate plastic water bottles, baby bottles and canned foods have been scrutinized of late for containing the compound.