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BPA alternative may cause just as many problems

A little over four years ago, BPA was linked to a number of medical conditions including diabetes, asthma, and cancer among others. The chemical was commercially introduced in 1957, and was used in a wide range of products including food containers and bottles. Due to the backlash over BPA-related health risks, many manufacturers stopped using the chemical in their products.

In response, companies that offered plastic products containing BPA switched to Bisphenol S (BPS). BPA and BPS are very similar structurally, making the latter a good “drop-in replacement” for the former.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are now reporting that widespread human exposure to BPS was confirmed in 2012 during the analysis of urine samples taken in the U.S., Japan, and China. The research study found that BPS disrupts cellular responses to the hormone estrogen, changing the pattern of cell growth -- even low levels of BPS exposure were enough to interfere with hormones.

"Our studies show that BPS is active at femtomolar to picomolar concentrations just like endogenous hormones -- that's in the range of parts per trillion to quadrillion," said UTMB professor Cheryl Watson, senior author of a paper on the study now online in the advance publications section of Environmental Health Perspectives. "Those are levels likely to be produced by BPS leaching from containers into their contents."

The backlash against BPA was fast and furious, but it may take some more time (and additional studies) to determine if BPS will encounter the same fate.

Source: Science Daily





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