Men: Cut back on those canned foods. A new study links high levels of BPA (bisphenol A) — a controversial chemical that’s found in the lining of most canned foods and some hard plastic containers — to male sexual problems.

According to The Washington Post, the researchers behind the study found that male factory workers in China handling BPA "were four times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and seven times as likely to have difficulty with ejaculation.”

Ate canned tuna today? Drank out of a #7 reusable water bottle that's not labeled BPA-free? Don’t panic yet, lest the psychological angst cause more sexual dysfunction. While more than 93 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their urine, those levels are about 50 times lower than the levels of BPA found in the urine of the Chinese workers in the study, according to NewScientist’s Short Sharp Science.

BPA worries have often focused on the effect of the chemical on babies — which has prompted many baby bottle manufacturers to switch to BPA-free products — but this new study prompts some eco-sexual anxieties for adults, even though the U.S. Federal Drug Administration still maintains that the chemical doesn’t pose risks.

Read the original study published in Human Reproduction (PDF) for the hard data on men gone soft. Another recent study reported finding BPA in most canned foods, so the cookbook A Man, a Can, a Plan may not make the best holiday gift for your favorite lover.

Hard plastic, soft men
High levels of the plastic hardener BPA can create sexual problems for men, finds a new study.