Canada's health agency has found Bisphenol A -- the hormone-mimicking chemical -- in "significant" concentrations in virtually all sodas and energy drinks tested, according to a Toronto Globe and Mail report.
The highest levels were found in energy drinks.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, since it's been widely reported that Bisphenol A is commonly used in the linings of cans -- but the emphasis has always been on canned foods, and the results are especially startling, given that the average person, worldwide, consumes more than 22 gallons of soft drinks every year. (Yikes!)
Soft drink consumption in the U.S. peaked in 1998, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, though Americans still get roughly 7 percent of their calories from sugary sodas, iced teas and other soft drinks. (To review all the other reasons to avoid sodas, CSPI's Liquid Candy report is a good start.) Consumption of energy drinks, meanwhile, has increased rapidly in recent years, and the average North American consumed 1.3 gallons of caffeinated energy drinks last year, according to industry estimates.
Canada has done more to crack down on Bisphenol A than any other nation. It banned baby bottles with Bisphenol A in baby bottles, while the U.S. has dithered on regulating the chemical, which mimics estrogen. While the National Toxicology Program has raised concerns about Bisphenol A's potential to disrupt the normal development of fetuses and babies, and the Environmental Protection Agency has been criticized for failing to consider the cumulative effect of hormone-disrupting chemicals that Americans are routinely exposed to, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to regulate the use of Bisphenol A.
Several manufacturers and retailers have taken steps to stop using Bisphenol A, particularly in baby bottles and reusable water bottles. Suffolk County, N.Y., this week passed a ban on the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups made with Bisphenol A, apparently the first in the nation. (California and other states had bans defeated last year.) The Suffolk County bill still needs the signature of its executive.
For more information about Bisphenol A and the other ubiquitous hormone-disrupting chemical of the moment, phthalates, see The Daily Green's How to Avoid Bisphenol A and Phthalates.
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