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Dallas Study: BPA In Large Number Of Items On Grocery Store Shelves

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When you go to the grocery store, you expect that the food you buy is safe for you, but a new study done right here in North Texas is showing that some of the foods that we consume may contain a chemical linked to a number of health problems.

It’s dinnertime and Nino Beavers of Northeast Dallas is cooking soup.  “It’s all vegetables, but I did throw a can of corn in there. So now I’m thinking ‘uh, oh.’”

That “uh-oh” comes after a study by the University of Texas School of Public Health. Researchers went to ten Dallas-area grocery stores and purchased 105 food items. 63 of them had measurable levels of Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical linked to several health problems.

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“I see all the labels; BPA-free this, BPA-free that. I think I’ve done my homework as far as getting it out of the house.”

Nino is now rechecking her homework.  BPA is commonly associated with plastic water and baby bottles. But today, the chemical is rarely found in those products.

But the new focus is on can goods and most American pantries, like Nino’s, have their share of them.

“Yes, I was surprised that almost two-thirds were contaminated with toxic Bisphenol A” says Dr. Arnold Schecter, a lead author of the study.  Dr. Schecter says that BPA is used in the lining of cans to keep food fresh and tasty.  He believes BPA combined with other unknowns raises serious concerns.

“It isn’t the case that all we’re eating is Bisphenol A. We’re eating other toxic chemicals and we don’t know what the health effect of the mixture is.”

It’s important to note that of the 63 grocery items in the study, the BPA levels were far less than what United States food agencies consider to be unhealthy.

Dr. Schecter says that’s not good enough, and wants stricter standards.  He says he’s joined a growing lists of scientists who believe that even small amounts of BPA pose health risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and male sexual dysfunction.

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