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Bisphenols

Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS) are synthetic estrogen chemicals used in the production of polycarbonate plastics. They're found in thousands of consumer products, from baby bottles to store receipts to canned goods.

 

As a synthetic estrogen, BPA can confuse the body’s natural endocrine systems, disrupting normal function and interfering with development. Some studies suggest exposure may lead to estrogenic cancers such as breast cancer. Endocrine disruption can also lead to childhood obesity and early onset puberty. Studies have also linked BPA to developmental and behavioral problems, diabetes and reproductive disorders.

As the adverse health effects associated with exposure to BPA became well known, manufacturers began replacing it with an alternative chemical. Now, products that are labeled “BPA-free” very often contain BPS.

Despite claims that BPS is a safe alternative, very little testing has been done to substantiate these statements. In fact, recent studies have suggested that despite claims that BPS is a safe alternative, very little testing has been done to substantiate these statements. In fact, recent studies have suggested that BPS may be just as dangerous as BPA.

Fast Facts

  • BPA is found in thousands of consumer products, from baby bottles to store receipts to canned goods.

 

  • BPA is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the endocrine system and may lead to early onset puberty, childhood obesity and breast cancer.

 

  • Exposure to BPA is especially dangerous for pregnant women and infants.

Bisphenol S has been shown to both mimic estrogen and disrupt how cells respond to natural estrogen. Given these findings, some scientists believe that BPS might be linked to some of the same health problems caused by BPA.

 

Research has shown that exposure to BPS, even at low concentrations, can impact brain development and lead to hyperactivity, as well as heart arrhythmias. Considering that an estimated 81% of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine, it is important to be aware of the sources of bisphenol S and to limit exposure as much as possible.

BPS is a common component of thermal paper, which is used for cash register receipts and for ultrasound and other medical machine printouts. Consequently, an effort should be made to either decline receipts or have them emailed to you when possible. In addition, BPS is also used in some hard plastics. As always, the safest alternative is to use products that are made from materials other than plastic; however, try to wash your hands whenever you do come into contact with products that may contain either BPA or BPS.
Things you can do:

 

There are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from BPA & BPS.

 

  • Avoid plastics labeled with the #7 recycling code.

  • Do not use baby bottles or sippy cups made from polycarbonate plastic. Glass or stainless steel are safer alternatives.

  • Avoid canned goods. Instead, buy frozen foods or those packaged in cardboard containers.

  • Choose soft drinks and beer in glass bottles instead of cans.

  • Avoid reusable beverage containers that contain BPA or BPS. Be sure to check the labels.

  • Never microwave plastic. This may cause leaching.

  • Be aware that some dental sealants and fillings contain BPA, so be sure to ask for alternatives.

  • Check the labels of infant formula and other products to see if they contain BPA or BPS.

Bisphenols Resources
Web Resources 

Related Pages 

Related Podcasts from Green Street

The BPA Show with Dr. Laura Vandenberg

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