How to Test for Bisphenol A (BPA) – BPA Testing
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) spearheaded the study of Bisphenol A or BPA in canned goods sold in the US back in 2007. BPA is either a resin or a plastic ingredient that is being used to line metal cans. These cans in turn are being used to store a wide assortment of food and drinks being sold in the market today.
The results of this particular study showed that there is a toxic ingredient associated with the lining on the food-can. This in turn resulted to birth defects not only in the female reproductive system but in the male reproductive system as well. More than half of the 97 cans tested for this study showed such results. These goods include a wide variety of samples including canned fruits and vegetables, soda and other most commonly eaten canned goods by the public today.
BPA results showed by this study
EWG saw alarming results with the BPA testing that they have done on a variety of canned goods. The company found out that:
- Highest levels of BPA were found in infant and chicken soup formulas. If a woman or a child is exposed to at least a serving of these formulas, the tendency is that she will acquire some serious side effects.
- A ration of 1:10 food cans and 1:3 infant formula cans showed that a single serving will be enough for women or infants to get exposed to higher BPA levels. In fact, the results showed that the BPA level is 200 times more than the safety level of exposure that the government has set for industrial chemicals.
- This industrial compound was already detected in over 2,000 people globally. The EWG also found out that 95% or 380 out of the 400 people they tested in the United States were positive with this compound.
Other studies have supported EWG’s findings. In fact, other reviews found out that Bisphenol A can be toxic even at low doses. It can result to health problems including infertility, breast cancer and prostate cancer. And since the FDA estimates that around 17% of the American diet contains canned foods, there is a dire need for these items to undergo BPA testing.
The BPA testing can be done at home. All you need to do is purchase a BPA indicator swab. You will also need two disposable plastic cups, a disposable plastic plate, ethanol rubbing alcohol, de-ionized water and two additional cotton swabs. With these items on hand, you can use the following steps:
- Place the product you want to test inside a cup of boiling water. Leave it there for 5 minutes.
- Soak one cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Make sure that the swab is not dripping wet. Rub the swab against the product for at least one minute. Afterwards, allow the swab to dry up.
- Use the other cup to soak the Bisphenol A indicator swab in water. Do this until the indicator dissolves. Place the solution on the plastic plate.
- Using the dried cotton swab which was previously rubbed against the product, you can now test for BPA. Soak that dried swab inside the solution. Testable levels of BPA are present if the swab’s color changes to either blue or green or purple within 1 to 10 minutes. Otherwise, the product is Bisphenol free.
Aside from the BPA test kit, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires screening-level reviews for Bisphenol A.
The EPA collaborates with the FDA as well as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) when it comes to this type of test.