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Dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging will not pose health risk: Health Canada

Canada's federal department Health Canada has concluded that the dietary exposure to the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) through food packaging is not expected to create any health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children.

The new findings have been revealed in a survey, which found that all infant formulae and foods tested for (BPA) were free from BPA and safe to consume.

Conducted as part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, the survey provides baseline surveillance data that may be used by Health Canada to update the estimated exposure of the population to BPA through food consumption.

In 2010-2011, the CFIA tested 234 samples of domestic and imported infant formulae and foods for BPA, which included 127 dairy and soy infant formula samples, 92 processed, pre-packaged fruit product samples, and 15 fruit juice samples.

Various food packaging materials, particularly those expected to have epoxy coatings including plastic, paperboard coated with waterproof plastic, paperboard cans with metal ends, metal cans, and glass jars with metal lids, were sampled.

While there is no established maximum level, tolerance or standard for the chemical in foods in the country, the federal department has set a provisional tolerable daily intake for BPA of 0.025 mg/kg body weight/day.

BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate and epoxy resins, which are used as internal coating for food and beverage packaging, particularly metal cans to protect food from direct contact with metal.

The chemical can migrate from the epoxy coatings into food, particularly at elevated temperatures.