Thursday, August 12, 2010

BPA in Canning Jar Lids, and Safe Alternatives

BPA is a chemical compound used in manufacturing polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. It is used in baby bottles, water bottles, medical and dental devices, lenses, food storage containers, household electronics, compact discs, DVDs and countless other everyday items. Epoxy resins containing FDA/USDA approved BPA are used to coat the inside of many food and beverage cans, as well as some aluminum water bottles.

BPA is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. It also disrupts thryoid hormone function. (In tests, the estrogenic effect dispupts Pancreatic β-cell function and induces insulin resistance.) To date, more than 200 studies have found evidence that exposure to BPA, even at extremely low levels, is linked to numerous diseases and health problems because it can interfere with the body's hormonal system. It's dangerous for adults, but it's even more dangerous for infants and children because they're still developing and growing. Due to this clear and compelling evidence, regulatory agencies in the United States are taking action to lower consumer exposure to BPA.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to coat the inexpensive metal lids for canning jars, and that's worrisome to me. (It would be of even more concern if I had a young family and children to eat what I can.) The alternatives have been Weck Canning Jars or "Fido" Jars, but I have invested a small fortune in mason jars and cannot afford to replace them. Now I have found lids that contains NO BPA... TATTLER Reusable Plastic Canning Lids.

The lids are manufactured using a plastic compound that is safe for direct contact with food products. They utilize an FDA and USDA approved, food grade product known as Polyoxymethylene Copolymer (POM) or Acetal Copolymer. This formulation does not contain any Bisphenol A (BPA).

You use your own rings and jars, and the Tattler lids work in any accepted method of use, pressure cooker, water bath, etc. They come with a rubber ring which is also re-usable, so long as it is not damaged (cut or stretched). The price is slightly higher than the Ball canning lids (about 59¢ each unless you buy in bulk, vs 50¢), BUT they are reuseable, which regular lids are not.

Tattler has an online store, or you can buy these lids from Lehman's.

The only thing I noticed in their instructions is an allowance for slightly more headspace. I think I'll experiment, since the lids are reuseable.


  1. The FDA approved BPA how do we know this plastic, approved by the FDA is any better? Does anyone Know?

  2. As far as I know... no one knows. I'm also looking into finding some of the old Ball glass lid inserts. Looks like they might work with the rubber seals sold by Tattler, and the recent Ball rings (not the newest ones that are silver-colored and flimsy). Ball apparently is coming out with thinner jar, too.

  3. I know this is an OLD post, but I'm wondering if there are any updates on this. I like to avoid plastics which is why I use the jars in the first place!!!

    PS: You will know me as "Leah's Mom" from the Cheese Forum :)

  4. I've only heard that these lids (so far) are using approved materials. On a canning forum I watch, some are finding the very old Ball and Kerr glass lids with rubber rings on eBay, which are like the Weck lids but cheaper if you can find them.

  5. Hi, I am not a chemist, but I do avoid using anything that has "oxy-eth" or "oxy-meth" in its chemical name. This is from reading toiletry labels for years and toxic-free information.

  6. Does anyone really think the BPA was used before they knew what it would wind up doing? What feeds most cancers but estrogen ie chemical estrogen BPA; and now we are offered this new plastic. What is this new plastic made from? Well from what I have read they link 3 molecules of formaldehyde using acid to form the hard plastic. Boy doesn't that sound great? It is suppose to be stable to 250 degrees and in a pressure cooker at 10 lbs it is being cooked at 240 degrees. Wow we have a whole 10 degrees safety margin. Yum Yum


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