Great Betrayal

It seems that the last most obvious great betrayal of Americans at the hands of their federal government had been failure of the FDA to catch on to the risk of epoxied cans and other food containers. I remember suffering through this through the Clinton administration, from specifically 1996 and on until BPA (attributed contaminant) was apparently discontinued by companies I buy from.

I couldn't possibly know whether BPA itself were the culpible chemical, but by association I knew the bugaboo to come from the same fragrance of hardware store epoxy used straight out of a tube as well as certain hand cleansing disinfectants, polycarbonate lenses and tumblers, and food can linings. BPA simply turned up in website searches by people beefing out over food can epoxy liners, so I tended then as now to credit their acute perception ... with one caveat: my own findings.

My unexamined subconscious opinion was that the offending substance was left behind as a plastic curing agent when food cans were sprayed, that the epoxy was not fully dried before food was packed. One of the few canned foods I used was kidney beans and tomato products. There was something of a scented residue ribboned throughout a can's juices, almost sickly-sweet but on the epoxy side.

But given BPA's history, a resin invented by Dr. Hermann Schnell of Bayer in 1953 but first synthesized in 1891, its doesn't seem to pertain to the designated chemical but instead to the process by what BPA becomes subjected to harsh chemicals in order to anneal the compound into a solid out of the resin. Since different methods of inducing its solidification exist, such as through use of powerful hydrochloric acid or phenols, a serious possibility could be a change in how BPA conditioning had come to be applied.

Another possibility may be that intense heat from global warming triggers a chemical leaching effect while in transit during hotter months. That hypothesis weould go far to explainimg why this all took so frustratingly long for companies to adopt an alternative can liner. A typical update of quality reporting on BPA can be found in this recent report.

Personally, I suspect a chemical called Benzethonium chloride, notably used in epoxy for food cans, water-free hand cleanser, and in contraceptives as spermicide. You can also find it in topical medical applications such as liquid bandage. Its name may well be uniquely different in each application, but its danger were due to being a powerful disinfectant -- not an antiseptic and, thereby, no mere poison but what I would tend to regard as a free-flowing toxin.

I stand by my story on the epoxy-related Benzethonium chloride.