Canadian Plastics

BPA found in most Canadians: StatsCan

About 91 per cent of Canadians have detectable levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make some har...

August 16, 2010   Canadian Plastics

About 91 per cent of Canadians have detectable levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make some hard plastic containers, bottles and toys, a new report suggests.

Statistics Canada released the finding on August 16, as part of the results of its survey measuring the levels of various contaminants in the urine of Canadians aged six to 79. The survey is the first time that BPA levels of Canadians have been measured in a nationally representative sample of the population, StatsCan said.

Bisphenol A is a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic for water bottles and food containers as well as the protective lining in metal cans.

According to StatsCan, the findings are consistent with results from international studies, in which BPA has been detected in 93 per cent of Americans aged six or older, and 99 per cent of Germans aged three to 14.

The report is the latest setback – and piece of bad publicity – for BPA. In October 2008, Canada became the first country in the world to ban the import and sale of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles.

The study provoked a quick response from the Ottawa-based Chemical Industry Association of Canada. “Biomonitoring studies such as this are useful tools for obtaining exposure information, which can be combined with other scientific approaches to advance public health. That being said, the association urges caution when interpreting biomonitoring studies,” the agency said in an August 16 press release. “Thanks to advances in analytical chemistry, researchers are able to measure extraordinarily low levels of natural and man-made substances in human fluids and tissues – often as little as one part per billion. Of course, health researchers know that the simple presence of an environmental chemical in a person’s body does not mean that it will cause health effects or disease.”

The study also reported measured lead and mercury levels in Canadians.

For more on the StatsCan survey, visit this link.


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