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BPA-Free May Not Mean Toxin-Free

Jan 23rd 2024

BPA-Free May Not Mean Toxin-Free

Share and Enjoy: Print Facebook Twitteremail LinkedIn . . . BPA alternatives found to also have estrogenic effects More and more consumers have become worried about Bisphenol A, a hormone-disrupting chemical found in food packaging and cash register and credit card receipts. However many products labeled "BPA-Free" contain alternatives that may not be any safer. BPA is a dangerous toxin, and almost all Americans have detectable levels in their bodies. Hormones work at very small dose levels. Amounts of BPA that are too small to detect by standard analytical methods may still cause damaging biological effects. Hundreds of studies have linked BPA with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, low thyroid, reproductive issues and more. BPA exposure is especially risky during pregnancy and in early childhood. As a result, certain BPA applications have been banned by various state and local governments in the US, and businesses have begun offering BPA-free alternatives. But a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives last year found that of 455 plastic products tested, both BPA-containing and BPA-free, 95% leached estrogenic chemicals when subjected to the real-life conditions of heating and washing. In some cases the products labeled "BPA-free" leached more estrogenic chemicals than those that were not. The most common BPA replacement in both hard plastics and thermal paper receipts has been Bisphenol S, a related compound thought to have less estrogenic activity. However, as Janet Raloff reported last month in Science News, when BPS was tested by a research arm of the European Commission, it was in one type of testing comparable to BPA in the strength of its estrogenicity. Although much is still unknown about the effects of BPS in the human body, a recent study in Environmental Science & Technology found it's becoming as ubiquitous as BPA in receipts and world currencies (BPA and BPS from receipts rub off not only onto our skin, but onto the paper money in our wallets). Exposures through receipts are often thousands of times stronger than from plastics, and the Environmental Protection Agency is looking for safe BPA alternatives through a collaboration with industry called BPA Alternatives in Thermal Paper Partnership. They were scheduled to report their findings this spring, but so far the public has heard nothing from them. Until safe alternatives are found, we need to minimize our exposures. Read More: What To Do About BPA? "Like" Us on Facebook Sign-Up for our News Clips
Yang CZ. Most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals: A potential health problem that can be solved. Environmental Health Perspectives. Published online March 2, 2011.
Raloff J. What's in your wallet? Another "estrogen" -- a bioactive chemical cousin of BPA turns up on money and in receipts. Science News. Web Edition. June 20, 2012.
Liao C. Bisphenol S, a new bisphenol analogue, in paper products and currency bills and its association with bisphenol A residues.
Environmental Science & Technology. Published online May 16, 2012.

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