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A substance deemed hazardous by California has been found in a whopping 91% of canned goods bought from Asian food stores across the state.
Researchers from the Center of Environmental Health in Oakland purchased the goods from Asian stores in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. The substance in question, BPA, or Bisphenol A, has been linked to cancer, infertility, and obesity, among other illnesses.
The canned goods reportedly came from Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
The discovery comes as a shock given that around 40% of products sold in mainstream outlets contain BPA.
“For me, it’s very dangerous, especially the cans that I tested are mostly bought from the Asian grocery store,” said Tenzin Norbu, who tested the samples for the Center of Environmental Health.
There is an ongoing debate surrounding the hazards of BPA, however. According to AsAmNews, both the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider the substance, found in the lining of food packaging, safe.
On the other hand, California officials, including some experts, have ruled that BPA is a toxic substance that damages the female reproductive system. Starting next year, the state will require cans made with BPA to carry a warning on their packaging.
California announced last year (via The Mercury News):
“Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to the State of California to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle lids may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers.”
Those who would rather not risk the consumption to BPA may visit California’s database that provides information on whether BPA was intentionally used in the manufacturing of certain products.