251615 Exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals from food

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:15 AM

Kathleen Navarro, MPH , Environmental Health Sciences Division, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Sarah Janssen, MD, PhD, MPH , Health and Environment Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, CA
Gina Solomon, MD, MPH , Health and Environment Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, CA
Thousands of chemicals are used in food processing and food packaging and approved by the FDA as “indirect” food additives. This includes hormone disrupting chemicals, such as BPA and a group of chemicals called phthalates, both of which are present in the bodies of over 90 percent of the U.S. population and have been linked to reproductive and developmental toxicity. Both BPA and certain phthalates have been approved as indirect food additives since the 1950s. Though several federal agencies, including the FDA, have identified food as the major source of exposure to these chemicals, the FDA has not routinely monitored our food supply for levels of contamination and it is unknown which foods are most contaminated. Previous studies have found phthalates and BPA in canned foods, milk, and poultry and meat. We are analyzing a variety of foods purchased from U.S. grocery stores for levels of phthalate contamination. The results of this testing will be presented along with a discussion of gaps in FDA's oversight of chemical contamination of our food supply.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain why food is a major source of exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals. 2. Discuss current problems with monitoring of the food supply for chemical contaminants. 3. Identify gaps in regulatory oversight of chemicals approved as food additives by the FDA.

Keywords: Endocrine, Food Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a student intern at NRDC, I have been involved with a project that is measuring the levels of phthalates in food. I completed the background research for this project and assisted with the development of the sampling protocol. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Toxicology and my graduate degree is in Environmental Health Science.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
NRDC Food Contamination, Gulf Oil Spill, Disease Clusters Employment (includes retainer)

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.