Dark forces at work
It’s been a uniquely busy time for can manufacturers due to the pandemic, as plant managers work around the clock to try and keep up with demand, with consumption for canned goods at an unprecedented level.
Despite all the news in the mainstream media being positive regarding the upsurge in the demand for cans, I was unfortunately alerted to a ridiculous article in CNN recently. The article states that the chemical BPA, found in the lining of canned foods and many plastics and in thermal receipts, was linked to a 49 per cent greater risk of death within 10 years, according to a new study.
The fact that BISA has not been found in canned goods for at least a decade, is neither here not there for this article. The study appearing in the journal of JAMA Network Open goes on to state that the replacements for epoxy-coatings could be just as harmful. The article is full of inaccuracy after inaccuracy, but here is another nugget:
While BPA-free may be seen today on many plastic bottles and containers, environmental and health safety experts say the chemicals that have replaced them may be just as bad.
That’s because they are still in the same “bisphenol family,” and appear to have the same chemical reaction on the body.
“I use a twist on the singer Prince to explain it,” said Leonardo Trasande, director of environmental paediatrics at NYU Langone Health. “Prince renamed himself as the artist formerly named as Prince. So I call it the artist formerly known as BPA. And there are 40 BPA replacements out there.”
Unfortunately for consumers, Trasande added, science must repeat studies on each of those 40 replacements to establish their health effects, even though the body is likely to respond in a similar manner to each.
“There’s always a lag, but in the meantime, people continue to be exposed,” Trasante said. “And you have to ask yourself how much more do we have to do this before we start regulating chemicals by class?”
This article made me pose the question – “How do we deal with such scaremongering nonsense?”
There are two schools of thought here. Either we debate with studies such as this – call them out on their factual inaccuracies and attempt to put our educated point across. The other argument is to avoid, and don’t give any additional coverage.
It’s my personal take that these sorts of stories will always come around once in a while – it’s easy to rehash old arguments, and the worst thing to do is throw fuel to the fire; it will look like said article is getting under your skin.
Let’s just keep promoting the inherent benefits of metal packaging, and believe that consumers are intelligent enough to know that cans are safe.
- Alex Fordham, CanTech International editor.
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