BPA-free is the new label to look for on water bottles, everybody checks for it but do they really understand what they are checking for? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a known endocrine disrupter that is believed to be contributing to the increasing rates of premature birth, reproductive cancer, prostate cancer, and other detrimental human health issues. So where is BPA? It is everywhere. It is in most plastics, receipt paper, and the inner lining of canned foods. It is in us.
Kim Krisberg, a freelance public health writer, recently published an article on the accepted lesser of two evils, BPS. Bisphenol S (BPS) is the common replacement for BPA, but is it actually better? It appeared that there was a solution to the BPA uproar far faster than one would expect and once people were given a “better” alternative they turned a blind eye to what they were putting into their bodies and where else they may encounter BPA.
” BPA is so ubiquitous that federal public health officials estimate that nearly all of us have detectable levels in our bodies”
BPS was selected for the replacement of BPA because it is believed to have lower estrogenic activity, which is how it effects the endocrine system. Instead, BPS stimulates the production of thyroid hormones which can be hazardous for fetal brain development. BPS is known to speed up embryonic development and adversely effect the reproductive systems in animals.
Recently, Nancy Wayne (a reproductive endocrinologist and professor of physiology at the University of California-Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine) co-authored a study in the journal Endocrinology, where they studied the effects of BPA and BPS on embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio). Their studied, which unlike others, compared BPA and BPS side by side, thus showing that the effects were highly similar between the two.
“BPS is not necessarily safer — we just swapped one endocrine-disrupting chemical for another.” – Nancy Wayne
It is important for we as a society to realize the level of exposure that we have implemented in our daily routine. Crumpling up that receipt in your hand and carrying it out with your groceries is a prime example of unneeded exposure according to a study published by JAMA which found that people who routinely handle receipt paper have elevated levels of endocrine disrupting agents in their system. Your hands, frequently are exposed to lotions and hand sanitizers, this can lead to more absorption of these endocrine disrupting agents according to a new study published by Plos One. So what can we do? We can’t get rid of every piece of plastic, it is unrealistic to think we can. We can make choices that limit unneeded exposure to endocrine disrupting agents, decline a receipt, only use glass and stainless steal container for food storage, pick foods and drinks that come in glass instead of plastic. If we, the consumers, make a hard enough push for less plastic products we may shift the producers to use materials that are safer for human use.
Here is a great video by Democracy Now! that looks at BPA and its replacements.