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November 13, 2009


As always, thanks for your thought provoking and always useful posts! Cheers, Shelagh


STATS (which "advocate[s] scientific and statistical methods as the best way of analyzing and solving society's problems") differs with Consumer Reports in "Consumer Reports BPA study filled with factual errors." See

Also see STATS home page for more recent rebuttals.
I rarely eat canned goods, but even if I ate more of them, I wouldn't cut back. I'll wait until I see a consensus that BPA is harmful.


Very informative! I've been making double batches of beans to freeze for a while now, but I wonder if I should start making my own tomato sauces with fresh over-ripe tomatoes in the fall to freeze. Too late for this year though.

Also, should we trust the tetra boxes? Could it be that some yet-to-be-named substance in them leaks into the food and we just don't know it yet? I'd like to think not because you can't beat the convenience, but I'm starting to think that cooking with fresh produce makes the most sense, other than economically and environmentally due to the transport issues.


Gah, I just need to quit eating:/


I went grocery shopping today with the goal to buy fresh food whenever possible to avoid this whole BPA dilemma. However, the fresh tomatoes looked way too anemic and expensive to make sauce for the roasted veggie pizza I have planned for tonight. So, I thought I would skip it altogether, since I didn't want to buy canned tomatoes. Well, I couldn't have been happier with a fortuitous find in the natural foods section: organic strained tomatoes, along with tomato paste, in glass jars by a company called Bionaturae:

Yes, they were a bit on the pricey side, but tomatoes are the non-fresh vegetable I use, so a little splurge now and again is within the budget. Just thought I'd share my joy!

Hank Roberts

Are you checking your receipts?
Are you using gloves and tongs?!?

There's far more BPA in powder form on those carbonless receipt printers than leaches out in food.

Don't lick your fingers, I guess.

Janet Raloff is a wonderful science writer. This is astonishing:

Concerned about BPA: Check your receipts
By Janet Raloff
Web edition : Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
font_down font_up Text Size
What's the charge?Some — but not all — cash-register and credit-card receipts can be rich sources of exposure to BPA, a hormone-mimicking pollutant.Christopher Baker

While working at Polaroid Corp. for more than a decade, John C. Warner learned about the chemistry behind some carbonless copy papers (now used for most credit card receipts) and the thermal imaging papers that are spit out by most modern cash registers. Both relied on bisphenol-A.

Manufacturers would coat a powdery layer of this BPA onto one side of a piece of paper together with an invisible ink, he says. “Later, when you applied pressure or heat, they would merge together and you’d get color.”

At the time, back in the ‘90s, he thought little about the technology other than it was clever. But when BPA exploded into the news, about a decade ago, Warner began to develop some doubts.....
And the amount receipts carry isn’t trivial.

“When people talk about polycarbonate bottles, they talk about nanogram quantities of BPA [leaching out],” Warner observes. “The average cash register receipt that's out there and uses the BPA technology will have 60 to 100 milligrams of free BPA.” By free, he explains, it’s not bound into a polymer, like the BPA in polycarbonates. It’s just the individual molecules loose and ready for uptake.

As such, he argues, when it comes to BPA in the urban environment, “the biggest exposures, in my opinion, will be these cash register receipts.” Once on the fingers, BPA can be transferred to foods. And keep in mind, he adds, some hormones — like estrogen in certain birth-control formulations — are delivered through the skin by controlled-release patches. So, he argues, estrogen mimics like BPA might similarly enter the skin.....


Or maybe not. This is a concern, not a published study in a refereed journal. But Raloff's not been an alarmist about anything I can think of and has been an early cautionary writer about quite a few issues.

Worth some thought.


Wow! I had no idea about the carbonless receipts. This stuff is everywhere! I have no illusions that I can keep my family entirely safe from certain exposures, including BPA. It truly might be a matter of 'choose your poison.' Amazing.

The Healthy Librarian

Thanks, Hank, for supplying this information on an unknown source of BPA. Who would have thought?

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