Sacramento News & Review - Pass on plastic

November 15, 2012

by Harriet Weinstein

Study shows food packaging's toxic impact

Excerpt: A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives measuring plastic packaging found that exposure to the chemicals bisphenol A, often referred to as BPA, and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, a.k.a. DEHP, were substantially reduced when participants ate food with limited plastic.

Looking at it another way, “The study provides compelling evidence that removing BPA and DEHP from food packaging would substantially reduce exposures for adults and children,” said Ruthann Rudel, the study’s lead author and director of research at the Silent Spring Institute.

Five families from Northern California joined an eight-day “food intervention” study, eating their typical diets the first few days, switching to a fresh-food diet and then resuming their usual foods for the final days. The families submitted urine samples for analysis.

The results: When participants ate the fresh-food diet, the average levels of BPA in their urine decreased by more than 60 percent. The average levels of DEHP dropped by more than 50 percent during the fresh-food diet. After families returned to their normal diets, BPA levels increased to pre-intervention levels.

Testing Exposure Reduction Strategies