BPA-Free: Only an Assurance

DRINKWARE_BPA-Free

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 OneSo 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.

 

William Connolley- Because Science Needs Some Racism

 

Clicking on a link simply for its robust and enticing title is a fast way to get in trouble on the internet, where “you will never believe why this person injected uranium into their blood stream, what happened next will leave you speechless.” The web is full of clickbait, William Connolley’s article “The WTO Just Ruled Against India’s Booming Solar Program?” is both an example of clickbait and a (claimed) reaction to clickbait. Yet, I found myself on the front page of ScienceBlogs enticed by this title, assuming that it wasn’t clickbait. I was right in this assumption, yet what I found was much more disturbing.

In my opinion, free speech is something that is important for expression and I understand that Blogs are a way of expressing an opinion. Yet, I believe that when presenting an argument in the scientific community it is necessary  to keep a moderately professional nature. Getting heated and impassioned is great. Do it. Get fired up, people love seeing fire in a writers eyes while they blow apart somebodies article. Just leave the racial slurs out of it. William Connolley wrote a very heated reaction to the Huffington Posts article “The WTO Just Ruled Against India’s Booming Solar Program,” he claimed that the Huffington Post  is “…so busy being outraged they barely tell you what the actual issue is.” The issue is very important and both perspectives (Connolley and Huffington post) have key points, Huffpost is focusing on the ethics of the US halting India’s pursuit of a homegrown national solar plan; one that, to start up, will only use solar panels made in India. Connolley contrasts this by stating, India’s refusal to import cheaper solar panels will leave them with fewer and lower quality solar panels.

Connolley makes one point that I hold as valuable, and that was the WTO (World Trade  Organization) sided with the “US zillionaires,” a clear comment on the corruption found with wealth. The rest of the heated argument that Connolley produced was riddled with racial remarks and derogatory terms. He went as far as using racial slurs (which I refuse to repeat) and called Indian government weasels. This blog, found in a scientific community, is one that does not hold the right to contribute to science, this is not the first time Connolley has made racial, derogatory, or offensive remarks, he even seems happy that he is offending people. ScienceBlogs is is a place for scientific blogs, not a place for Trumpisms and trolls. If he wants to plaster his absurdities, hate, and racial remarks on the internet he should start a blog that holds no ties to the scientific community. Science is a place for world collaboration, where we can only move forward if we look past our differences and work together to better the future.

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“Together, science and humanity can change the world. That’s the Human Element at Work.”