As BPA-free bottles started becoming the norm, the Science Market Update published a prophetic article warning about the dangers of the new trend. The article cautioned that BPA substitutes had just as much potential for adverse health effects as the original compound. Recent research from the University of Cincinnati finally provides proof to back up this claim.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that was used in the production of many hard plastics up until a few years ago, when its safety was brought into question. At the time, UC researcher Hong-Sheng Wang studied the effects of the chemical and found that BPA disrupts the normal behavior of hormones. In particular, it causes extra heartbeats and racing heartbeats, which Wang showed were symptoms toxic to heart health over an extended period of time.
Soon after, companies began marketing “BPA-free” products, but Wang remained skeptical. His biggest concern was that these new plastics contained similar chemicals to BPA, like bisphenol S (BPS). "BPS is one of the substitutes used in BPA-free products,” he says in a University of Cincinnati news release. “There is implied safety in BPA-free products. The thing is, the BPA analogs—and BPS is one of them—have not been tested for safety in humans."
Thus Wang decided to run his own tests. He tested the effects of BPS on mice just as he had done for BPA years before and came to the same conclusion. BPS also caused extra and skipped heartbeats, and over time caused heart damage in the same manner as BPA. "Our findings call into question the safety of BPA-free products containing BPS,” Wang states. He thinks that BPS and other BPA substitutes are understudied and should really be further researched and tested before releasing them to the marketplace.
(BPA and BPS can be most commonly found in water bottles and packaging of canned food. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Cincinnati Center for Environmental Genetics (CEG) helped fund Wang’s work. If funding information for the research at UC interests you, consider reading our free University of Cincinnati Funding Stats and Vendor Show Info report, accessible here:
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