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Bisphenol A Found in Most Sodas, But Not a Health Concern

A study of 72 sodas, teas and energy drinks sold in Canada found that the majority of them contain the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is used as a liner between the liquid and metal can.

However, BPA was found in such low doses in the actual drinks that Health Canada, the government department that conducted the study, says that Canadians do not face health risks from consuming BPA found in the drinks. According to Health Canada, the average adult would have to drink 900 cans a day to be exposed to an unsafe amount of BPA.

Canada was the first country to ban BPA, which has been linked to a host of developmental and health problems in laboratory studies, in baby bottles last year and is spending $1.7 million over the next three years to study the chemical. Just recently, the Suffolk County legislature in New York voted to ban the sale of BPA-containing baby bottles and sippy cups. If the law receives final approval, it would be the first of it's kind in the U.S.

The drinks in this study included diet, non-diet, fruit-flavored and energy drinks, representing about 84 percent of the market share of soft drinks sold in Canada.

The amount of BPA found in the drinks varied widely, with energy drinks having some of the highest concentrations of the chemical. Health Canada says a number of factors can effect the amount of BPA that migrates into food or drinks: differences in can coatings, can sterilization conditions and exposure to heat during storage and transportation.

While BPA from canned drinks alone may not be a health concern, exposure to BPA is particularly a concern with infants, children and teens, who, when they take in the same amount of BPA as an adult, ingest it in more concentrated doses. Another concern is the many ways humans  can be exposed to BPA, especially though a variety of food and drink packaging and containers. A recent study by New York's University of Rochester also found that BPA sticks around in humans longer than previously thought.

Monster energy drink - photo CC license by rhosoi

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