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Diet change can reduce BPA levels in humans

Press announcement, Brussels, 30 March 2011 - A study from the United States released today by Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute shows that avoiding canned and packaged food can reduce chemical levels in the human body by 50% or more. This finding implies that food contact materials are a major source of people’s exposure to harmful chemicals, such as hormone disruptors known as BPA and DEHP.

"The Health and Environment Alliance, alongside other public interest organisations, are calling for swifter action by the European Union to eliminate people’s exposure to these chemicals to protect public health," says Lisette van Vliet, Toxics Policy Advisor. "This study confirms the urgent need for a major overhaul of EU food contact materials law because packaging in the US is often the same as that used in the EU. Specifically, the review should address endocrine disruptors and the ‘cocktail effects’ of exposure to several chemicals at the same time."

The study is published today in Environmental Health Perspectives. Five families were enlisted for a week-long investigation. First, the families ate their normal diets. Then, they were provided with three days’ worth of freshly prepared organic meals that avoided contact with BPA-containing food packaging, such as canned food and polycarbonate plastic. Finally, the families returned to their normal diets. The BPA levels of the participants were measured at each stage.

More information:

Lisette van Vliet, Toxics Policy Advisor , Telephone: +32 2 234 3645

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) raises awareness of how environmental protection improves people’s health, and works to strengthen European policies. We do this by creating better representation of expertise and evidence from the health community in decision making processes. HEAL is a diverse network of over 67 citizens’, patients’, health professionals’, women’s and environmental groups. Our members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups.

Chemicals Health Monitor Project (CHM) was launched by HEAL, CHEM Trust, Collaborative on Health and Environment and others in March 2007. It aims to improve public health by ensuring that key scientific evidence on the links between chemicals and ill-health are translated into policy as quickly as possible. Key documents about the campaign and information about the project can be found at:

Last updated on 16 May 2011

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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