Just in case you needed another reason not to drink soft drinks, a Canada study has found significant levels of the controversial chemical BPA in energy drink and soda cans.
As reported by the Toronto Globe and Mail, bisphenol-A was found in at least 96 percent of the sodas it tested, including ginger ales, diet colas, root beers and citrus-flavored drinks. The highest levels, however, were found in energy drinks. Soft-drink cans are treated with a BPA-containing liner to prevent drinks from coming into contact with metal.
First it was plastic and most notably baby bottles, then it was discovered that the plastic lining in canned foods contains BPA. Now soda cans too. Although BPA has been banned from baby bottles in Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to deem the chemical unsafe, so it’s up to us as consumers to regulate our exposure.
(Incidentally, you can sign Care2′s petition to Tell Congress to Ban BPA From Baby Bottles and Other Products.)
Primarily believed to have harmful effects on unborn or newborn children, BPA is an estrogen-based hormone disrupter that leaches into our food and then into our body. It has been linked in lab animals to cancer, obesity, diabetes, fertility problems and behavioral disorders.
As far as the BPA levels in soda, Health Canada contends there is no risk because the levels are “extremely low,” said Samuel Godefroy, director of the health agency’s Bureau of Chemical Safety. He said children would not be at risk and an adult would have to drink 900 cans a day to exceed the government’s safety level.
Frederick vom Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri and an authority on BPA, called these assurances “simple minded.” He says there is a growing body of scientific literature, based on animal experiments, that has found harmful effects due to BPA at concentrations up to 1,000 times below Health Canada’s safety limit.
“We are constantly getting exposed to this chemical,” vom Saal said. “People drink a lot of soda and this needs to be looked at as one of a very large number of sources of exposure to this chemical.”