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CT Takes Lead in Ridding Toxic Ingredient in Thanksgiving Dinner

November 21, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. - That big Thanksgiving feast could contain an unwanted toxic ingredient, according to a new report from the Breast Cancer Fund. It says bisphenol A (BPA) can leach from the linings of metal food cans at levels that could affect one's health.

Kathleen Schuler, senior policy analyst with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, says even low-dose exposure to BPA has been linked to prostate and breast cancer, diabetes and developmental problems.

"It's related to the fact that bisphenol A is the 'hormone disruptor.' It disrupts the delicate balance of hormones in the human body. Hormones work at a very low level, so if you have a substance that disrupts the natural function of hormones, then it can be very harmful and cause health effects later in life."

Connecticut was the first state to ban BPA in baby bottles and a few other items, but it is still used in most metal food cans, even though there are safer alternatives. Supporters of extending the ban to food cans hope to introduce legislation in 2012.

Anne Hulick with Clean Water Action in Connecticut coordinates the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut, which works to eliminate BPA. She says Connecticut this year became the first state to ban it in thermal receipt paper; the law goes into effect in 2013.

"It's concerning that BPA is used as a developer in thermal receipt paper. The receipt paper you get out of ATM machines, cash registers, gasoline pumps, has bisphenol-A in it."

She says the state bans passed so far have driven market changes to make safer alternatives available, and the coalition is pressing forward.

"We are in the process right now of looking at our proposals for the 2012 session, and we're very interested, particularly in light of this report, in showing our exposure to BPA from food."

The report is available at www.breastcancerfund.org.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT