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Bureau of Chemical Safety
Health Products and Food Branch
A WHO Collaborating Centre for Food Contamination Monitoring
Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. We assess the safety of drugs and many consumer products, help improve the safety of food, and provide information to Canadians to help them make healthy decisions. We provide health services to First Nations people and to Inuit communities. We work with the provinces to ensure our health care system serves the needs of Canadians.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is the common name for 2,2-(4,4'-dihydroxydiphenyl)propane, 4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol, or 2,2'-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane. It is used as an intermediate in the production of epoxy resins which are used in the internal coating for food and beverage cans to protect the food from direct contact with metal. BPA can migrate from cans with epoxy coating into foods, especially at elevated temperatures (for example, for hot-fill or heat-processed canned foods). BPA is one of the 23000 chemical substances on the CEPA (Canadian Environmental Protection Act) Domestic Substance List (DSL) identified for further evaluation under government of Canada's Chemical Management Plan (CMP).
BPA was included in Batch 2 of the Challenge under CMP carried out by Health Canada and Environment Canada. On October 18, 2008, the Government of Canada released its final assessment report, including the Government's proposed risk management approaches to reduce Canadian exposure to BPA. Health Canada has committed to a research and monitoring agenda to further investigate potential human health effects of BPA and improve its understanding of Canadian exposure to this chemical through food sources. The purpose of this survey was to gather occurrence levels of BPA in canned food products available for sale in Canada to contribute in updating the BPA exposure estimate for Canadians.
This survey examined samples from 78 canned food products marketed under a variety of brands. The products were purchased in April 2009 from local grocery stores in Ottawa. These products covered a variety of domestic and imported foods, including one canned pasta product, 15 canned vegetable products of seven brands, six canned tomato paste products of four brands, 41 canned soup products of five brands, and 15 canned tuna products of four brands. Among the 41 canned soup products, 29 were concentrated and 12 were ready to serve.
Health Canada continually works to develop more sensitive methods with detection limits as low as possible for the determination of chemicals in foods in order to support more accurate human exposure assessments. For this survey, an analytical method based on gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), developed previously for the determination of BPA in various food samples, was adapted and employed for the analysis of canned food samples for BPA. The average method detection limit (MDL) was 0.60 ng/g. The results of the analyses for each canned food product collected are shown in Table 1.
Table 1 summarizes the results of the analysis for BPA in samples from canned food products. BPA was detected in almost all 78 canned food products; the BPA level in only one product (tomato paste) was below the method detection limit (MDL) of 0.60 ng/g.
Canned tuna products had the highest BPA levels, in general, with average and maximum BPA levels of 137 and 534 ng/g, respectively. Canned soup products had the next highest BPA levels. BPA levels in the condensed soup products were considerably higher than those in the ready-to-serve soup products, with average and maximum BPA levels of 52 and 94 ng/g for the condensed soup compared to 15 and 34 ng/g for the ready-to-serve soup.
BPA levels in canned tomato paste products were considerably lower. The average and maximum BPA levels for the tomato paste products were 1.1 and 2.1 ng/g, while they were 9.3 and 23 ng/g for the pure tomato products.
On average, the BPA levels observed in the vast majority of samples within this survey are consistent with those of past surveys and are not considered to represent a human health concern. Health Canada continues to work with the food packaging industry to better identify the factors which may influence BPA migration to food, with a goal to limit human exposure to BPA to the greatest extent possible.
In March, 2008, Health Canada's Food Directorate completed a Health Risk Assessment of BPA from food packaging applications to determine exposure estimates to BPA. Health Canada's Food Directorate has concluded that:
In view of uncertainties related to possible neurodevelopmental and behavioural effects that BPA may have in experimental animals, Health Canada's Food Directorate has recommended that precaution be exerted on products consumed by the sensitive subset of the population, i.e. infants and newborns, by applying the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle to reduce their exposure to BPA through food packaging applications.
Other international food regulatory agencies - notably in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia-New Zealand - have reviewed the "Health Risk Assessment of Bisphenol A from Food Packaging Applications", prepared by Health Canada's Food Directorate, and have confirmed that the conclusions reached are supported by the current scientific evidence as described in the document.
|Company / Manufacturer||Brand name||Product Description||Type||BPA Concentration (ng/g)|
|Aliments Caneast Foods Ltd.||Riviera||Pieces and Stems Mushrooms||Vegetable||5.2|
|Aurora Importing & Distributing Ltd.||Aurora||Diced Tomatoes||Vegetable||23|
|Baxters Canada Inc.||Baxters||Chicken & Vegetable Soup, Low Fat, Ready to Serve||Soup||10|
|Vegetable Soup, Low Fat, Ready to Serve||Soup||11|
|Lentil & Smokey Bacon Soup, Low Fat, Ready to Serve||Soup||10|
|Primo||Roasted Chicken & Noodle, Low Fat, 30% Less Sodium, Ready to Serve||Soup||13|
|Beef Barley, Low Fat, 40% Less Sodium, Ready to Serve||Soup||14|
|Lentil, Low Fat, 50% Less Sodium Than Our Previous Lentil, Ready to Serve||Soup||14|
|Campbell Company of Canada||Campbell's||Chicken Broth, Fat Free, 25% Less Salt, Condensed||Soup||60|
|Chicken Broth, Fat Free, Condensed||Soup||61.5|
|Consomme Broth, Fat Free, Condensed||Soup||74.5|
|Beef Broth, Fat Free, Condensed||Soup||46|
|Chicken Gumbo, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||51.5|
|Chicken with Rice, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||65|
|Chicken Noodle, Condensed||Soup||33|
|Vegetable Beef, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||67|
|Beef with Vegetables & Barley, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||55.5|
|Bean with Bacon, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||71.5|
|Cream of Broccoli & Cheese, Condensed||Soup||69|
|Cream of Asparagus, Condensed||Soup||55.5|
|Cream of Celery, Low Fat, Condensed||Soup||91.5|
|Cream of Celery, Condensed||Soup||94.5|
|Cream of Chicken, Condensed||Soup||33.5|
|Cream of Chicken, Low Fat, Condensed||Soup||52.5|
|Cream of Wild Mushroom, Condensed||Soup||68|
|Cream of Mushroom, Condensed||Soup||78|
|Cream of Broccoli, Low Fat, Condensed||Soup||43|
|Tomato Soup, Condensed||Soup||2.05|
|Tomato with Basil & Oregano, Condensed||Soup||18|
|Onion , Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||61|
|Vegetable with Pasta, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||63.5|
|French Canadian Style Pea, Low in Fat, Condensed||Soup||33|
|Chicken Noodle, Low in Fat, Ready to Serve||Soup||10|
|Herbed Chicken with Rice, Low in Fat, Ready to Serve||Soup||11|
|New England Clam Chowder, 25% Less Sodium, Low Fat, Ready to Serve||Soup||11|
|Tomato Garden Vegetable, Whole Grain Pasta, 25% Less Sodium, Fat Free, Ready to Serve||Soup||11|
|Chunky Chicken Soup, Ready to Serve, Low in Fat||Soup||30|
|Chunky Prime Rib with Vegetables, 25% Less Salt, Ready to Serve||Soup||34|
|Cangro Foods Inc.||Aylmer||Diced Tomatoes with Italian Spices||Vegetable||8.4|
|Del Monte||Cut Green Beans||Vegetable||14|
|Cream Style Corn||Vegetable||7.3|
|Clover Leaf Seafoods||Clover Leaf||Flaked Light Tuna, Sundried Tomato & Basil||Tuna||39|
|Flaked Light Tuna, Dill & Lemon||Tuna||56|
|Solid Light Tuna in Olive Oil||Tuna||55|
|Flaked Light Tuna in Water||Tuna||534|
|Flaked White Tuna in Water||Tuna||12|
|Solid White Tuna, Low Sodium in Water||Tuna||30|
|Flaked White Tuna, Vegetable Broth & Oil||Tuna||22|
|Chunk Light Tuna in Water||Tuna||507|
|Chunk Light Tuna in Water||Tuna||32|
|ConAgra Foods Canada Inc.||Chef Boyardee||Spaghetti & Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce||Pasta||32|
|Hunt's||Tomato Paste, Garlic||Tomato Paste||2.1|
|Tomato Paste, No Salt Added||Tomato Paste||1.3|
|Tomato Paste, Herbs and Spices||Tomato Paste||1.1|
|General Mills Canada Corp||Green Giant||Cream Style Corn Made with Niblets||Vegetable||92|
|Cut Green Beans, 1/3 Less Salt||Vegetable||38|
|Loblaws Inc.||Bella Tavola||Tomato Paste||Tomato Paste||<MDL|
|No Name||Tomato Paste||Tomato Paste||0.82|
|Chunk Light Tuna in Water||Tuna||9|
|Flaked Light Tuna, Tomato Basil||Tuna||49|
|Flaked Light Tuna, Spicy Thai Chilli||Tuna||237|
|Beef Broth, Fat-free, Condensed||Soup||11.5|
|Chicken & Rice, Condensed||Soup||14|
|Cream of Mushroom, Reduced Fat, Condensed||Soup||44.5|
|Whole-Style Cut Carrots||Vegetable||9.1|
|Assorted Sizes Asparagus Tips||Vegetable||9.1|
|President's Choice||Cream of Tomato with Parmesan & Basil, Condensed||Soup||18|
|Solid White Tuna in Water||Tuna||216|
|Chunk Light Tuna in Water||Tuna||189|
|Diced Tomatoes, No Salt Added||Vegetable||5.2|
|Cut Green Beans, No Salt Added||Vegetable||8.9|
|Unico Inc.||Unico||Tomato Paste||Tomato Paste||0.79|
|Solid Light Tuna||Tuna||62|
For more information, please contact the Bureau of Chemical Safety.
1 ng/g is equivalent to 1 part per billion (ppb).
Results are displayed in Table 1 as consumed.
Health Risk Assessment of Bisphenol A from Food Packaging Applications. ISBN: 978-0-662-48686-2