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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 polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate is used in food storage containers such as baby bottles, water bottles and water carboys; epoxy resins are used in the internal coating for food and beverage cans to protect the food from direct contact with the metal. BPA can migrate from polycarbonate plastic containers and 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 the 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 bottled water products to contribute in updating the BPA exposure estimate for Canadians. The survey results were also published in the peer-reviewed scientific literatureFootnote 1.
In this survey, samples of 54 different bottled water products marketed under 21 brands by 16 companies were purchased in a local store in Ottawa in April 2008. These products covered a variety of water types, such as spring, mineral, flavoured, carbonated and non-carbonated. These products came in various types of containers including glass, metal, high density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) and polycarbonate. In addition, samples from two different brands of bottled water products in polycarbonate carboys in the office area (delivered directly by the producers) were also analysed for BPA. Containers of all polycarbonate bottled water products were the 18.5-L polycarbonate carboys.
The method based on isotope dilution headspace solid-phase microextraction followed by GC-MS analysisFootnote 2, developed previously by Health Canada, was used to analyse water samples for the presence of BPA in 56 bottled water products sold in Canada. The method detection limit (MDL) was 0.5 µg/LFootnote *. A total of 68 samples from the 56 bottled water products were collected, and two subsamples from each sample were analysed. The results shown in Table 1Footnote 3 are the average of the two analyses.
Table 1Footnote 3 summarizes the levels of BPA determined in samples of the bottled water products. Levels of BPA in samples from all 51 non-polycarbonate bottled water products were less than the method detection limit of 0.5 µg/LFootnote *. BPA was detected in 13 of 17 samples from 4 of the 5 different polycarbonate bottled water products. Concentrations of BPA ranged from 0.50 to 8.82 µg/LFootnote *, with an average of 1.5 µg/LFootnote *. Since migration of BPA from polycarbonate containers into water at room temperature is very slow, it is likely that the products with higher BPA levels were exposed to heat (e.g. under the sun) during storage, and / or transportation.
In March, 2008, Health Canada's Food Directorate completed a Health Risk Assessment of BPA from Food Packaging ApplicationsFootnote + to determine exposure estimates to BPA. Health Canada's Food Directorate has concluded that:
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 ApplicationsFootnote +, 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.
The provisional tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 25 μg/kg body weight/day has been pre-established by Health Canada as a conservatively safe level for BPA presence in food and was confirmed in the 2008 Health Risk Assessment of BPA from Food Packaging ApplicationsFootnote +.
The contribution of BPA levels in bottled water to the overall exposure is negligible for the general population, and the consumption of water from polycarbonate carboys does not pose a safety concern.
Based on the average BPA level found in polycarbonate bottled water products (1.5 µg/LFootnote *), an adult (60 kg body weight) would have to consume approximately 1000 L of bottled water from polycarbonate carboys in one day to approach the TDI set by Health Canada's Food Directorate. For the specific population who consume water packaged only in polycarbonate carboys, the exposure to BPA would increase from 0.18 to 0.22 µg/kg body weight assuming an average of 1.5 µg/LFootnote * of BPA in polycarbonate bottled water and an average daily water consumption of 1.5 L.
The results of this survey clearly indicate that exposure to BPA through the consumption of bottled water would be extremely low. The low levels of BPA found in polycarbonate bottled water products available for sale in Canada confirm Health Canada's previous assessment conclusion that the current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population.
|Container Type||Brand Name / Producer||Product Name||Country or Province of Origin||Container Size (L)||BPA Concentration (ug/L)|
|Can||Nestle Waters Canada||Perrier Carbonated Natural Spring Water||France||0.33||<MDL|
|Glass||Loblaws Inc.||President's Choice Splendido Lightly Carbonated Natural Mineral Water||Italy||0.75||<MDL|
|President's Choice Carbonated Natural Spring Water||Italy||0.75||<MDL|
|President's Choice Lime Flavoured Natural Spring Water||Italy||0.75||<MDL|
|Nestle Waters Canada||S.Pellegrino Carbonated Natural Mineral Water||Italy||0.75||<MDL|
|S.Pellegrino Carbonated Natural Mineral Water||Italy||0.25||<MDL|
|Perrier Lime Carbonated Spring Water||France||0.75||<MDL|
|Perrier Natural Spring Water||France||0.75||<MDL|
|Perrier Lemon Carbonated Spring Water||France||0.75||<MDL|
|Santa Maria Food Corp Toronto||San Benedetto Carbonated Natural Spring Water||Italy||0.75||<MDL|
|Tree of Life, Mississauga||Apollinaris Classic Naturally Carbonated Mineral Water||Germany||1||<MDL|
|HDPE||Loblaws Inc.||Real Canadian Natural Spring Water||Ontario||4||<MDL|
|President's Choice Natural Spring Water||Ontario||10||<MDL|
|Polycarbonate||Aquaterra Corporation||Labrador Source Natural Spring Water||Quebec||18.5||0.86|
|Culligan of Brockville||Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 1||Canada||18.5||8.82|
|Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 2||Canada||18.5||6.52|
|Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 3||Canada||18.5||0.8|
|Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 4||Canada||18.5||<MDL|
|Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 5||Canada||18.5||0.79|
|Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 6||Canada||18.5||1.09|
|Culligan Demineralized Water, Bottle 7||Canada||18.5||0.5|
|Loblaws Inc.||President's Choice Natural Spring Water Non Carbonated||Quebec||18.5||0.67|
|President's Choice Distilled Water||Canada||18.5||<MDL|
|LPCS Carleton Place,ON||Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 1||Ontario||18.5||0.98|
|Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 2||Ontario||18.5||<MDL|
|Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 3||Ontario||18.5||1.4|
|Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 4||Ontario||18.5||0.63|
|Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 5||Ontario||18.5||<MDL|
|Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 6||Ontario||18.5||0.64|
|Water Life Purely for the Taste Natural Spring Water, Bottle 7||Ontario||18.5||0.59|
|PETE||Aquaterra Corporation||Canadian Springs Distilled Water||Quebec||4||<MDL|
|Canadian Springs Natural Spring Water||Quebec||8||<MDL|
|Coca-Cola Company||Dasani Remineralized Water||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|Dasani Remineralized Water||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Dasani Natural Lemon Flavoured Water Beverage||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Danone Waters of Canada Inc.||Evian Natural Spring Water||France||1.5||<MDL|
|Evian Natural Spring Water||France||0.33||<MDL|
|DNW/EDN||Silhouette Danone Lemon Spring Water Based Beverage||Quebec||1||<MDL|
|Silhouette Danone Pink Grapefruit Green Tea Spring Water Based Beverage||Quebec||1||<MDL|
|Naya Aquakids Natural Spring Water||Quebec||0.33||<MDL|
|Elco Fine Foods Inc.||Gerolsteiner Naturally Sparkling Mineral Water||Germany||1||<MDL|
|Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc.||Ice River Springs Natural Spring Water||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Loblaws Inc.||Real Canadian Natural Spring Water||Ontario||1.5||<MDL|
|President's Choice Free & Clear Golden Peach Sparkling Water Beverage||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|President's Choice Free & Clear Tangerine Lime Sparkling Water Beverage||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|President's Choice Free & Clear Berries of the Woods Sparkling Water Beverage||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|President's Choice Free & Clear Key Lime Sparkling Water Beverage||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|President's Choice Free & Clear Blackcurrant Cassis Sparkling Water Beverage||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|President's Choice Free & Clear Black Cherry Sparkling Water Beverage||Ontario||1||<MDL|
|President's Choice Orange Mist Flavoured Water Beverage||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|President's Choice Strawberry Mist Flavoured Water Beverage||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|President's Choice Natural Spring Water||Ontario||1.5||<MDL|
|Majestic North Group Inc.||Nateczowianka Natural Mineral Water||Poland||1.5||<MDL|
|Metro Brands||Master Choice Carbonated Natural Spring Water||Quebec||1||<MDL|
|Nestle Waters Canada||Montclair Natural Spring Water||Ontario||0.71||<MDL|
|Pure Life Sparkling Original Carbonated Spring Water||Maine,USA||1||<MDL|
|Pure Life Sparkling Lime Carbonated Spring Water||USA||1||<MDL|
|Pure Life Natural Spring Water||Ontario||1.5||<MDL|
|Perrier Carbonated Natural Mineral Water||France||0.5||<MDL|
|Pepsico Inc.||Aquafina Citrus Blend Naturally Flavoured Water Beverage||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Pepsi-QTG Canada||Aquafina Raspberry Naturally Flavoured Water Beverage||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Aquafina Berry Burst Naturally Carbonated Water Beverage||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Propel Gatorade Vitamin Enhanced Water||Ontario||0.5||<MDL|
|Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd||Aquafina Demineralized Treated Water||Ontario||1.5||<MDL|
|Santa Maria Food Corp Toronto||Naturale San Benedetto Mineral Water||Italy||0.5||<MDL|
|Naturale San Benedetto Natural Spring Water||Italy||1.5||<MDL|
|Frizzante San Benedetto Carbonated Natural Spring Water||Italy||1.5||<MDL|
|S&F Food Importers Inc.||Jordanka Sparkling Natural Mineral Water||Poland||1.5||<MDL|
Cao, Xu-Liang and Corriveau, Jeannette (2008) 'Survey of bisphenol A in bottled water products in Canada', Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B, 1:2, 161 - 164.
Xu-Liang Cao and Jeannette Corriveau. Determination of Bisphenol A in Water by Isotope Dilution Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Without Derivatization. J. AOAC Intern., 2008, 91, 622-629.
The data contained in this document was published in peer-reviewed literature: Cao, Xu-Liang and Corriveau, Jeannette. Survey of Bisphenol A in Bottled Water Products in Canada, Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B Vol. 1, No. 2, December 2008, 161-164.
1 µg/L is equivalent to 0.000001 g/L or 1 part per billion (ppb)
Health Risk Assessment of Bisphenol A from Food Packaging Applications. ISBN: 978-0-662-48686-2.