EPHC has been writing about both chemical and material problems and innovative solutions for some time. In this blog, we explore what happens when a company focuses on human health concerns of an existing material and incorporates that information into R&D for a safer alternative.

In January 2017, independent researchers published a paper showing that Valspar’s new alternative to BPA can linings does not show estrogenic activity. Given that this was an issue both with traditional BPA can linings as well as some of the alternatives brought to market, this is a major achievement. Even more impressive was Valspar’s approach, which they call “Safety By Design”. What’s different is the explicit inclusion of “Monitoring of Chemicals of Concern” and “Endocrine Activity Testing” in order to avoid what we fondly refer to as the “regrettable substitution” problem aka, jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

My colleagues at EDF and the Breast Cancer Fund both applaud Valspar’s efforts. We look forward to having a can lining on the market that reduces exposures to both consumers and workers (women in the food packaging industry have a 5x likelihood of pre-menopausal breast cancer) while still keeping canned food fresh.