OAKLAND, CA — Despite eating the same foods and using the same products that contain bisphenol A (BPA), people in the United States have twice as much of the gender-bending chemical in them than Canadians.
The finding, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, has researchers trying to determine what the deciding factor in that gap is, reports The Globe and Mail.
Canada has declared BPA, which mimics estrogen and is tied to a host of health problems, toxic and banned its use in baby bottles, but that ban hasn't been in effect long enough to potentially skew the figures, and many companies in the U.S. have removed BPA from baby bottles and other goods as well. Plus, the survey of BPA in Canadians that was used in the research was conducted from 2007-2009.
Diet is considered the main pathway that BPA gets into people, such as from epoxy liners in canned food, but in this case diet isn't the clear factor, the paper reports.
[Researcher] Dr. [Laura] Vandenberg speculated that it could be due to a dietary factor, such as Canadians not eating as much canned food as Americans. However, there are no data to support this conclusion and supermarkets in both countries stock many of the same brand-name items, often made in the same processing plants.
Canadians also get receipt paper from the same few companies that U.S. businesses buy it from.
One possible explanation comes from Health Canada, which told the paper that surveys of populations, like those compared for the research, take place at different times, using different population groups and different procedures.
At any level, BPA is found in more than 90 percent of people in the U.S. and Canada that have been checked for its presence.
Water bottle - CC license by bradley j (Flickr)