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New studies raise concerns about BPA/BPS

(Photo credit: whltexbread – Flickr CC)

BPA, the hormone-disrupting toxic chemical, is now officially a household term. If people don’t know how to pronounce bisphenol-A (BPA) many still know about the toxic chemical that was found in baby bottles and food can linings. We’ve been educating the public about the concerning health effects of BPA for a while now; just this week three new studies have raised further concerns about the safety of the chemical and its replacement BPS.

BPA plastic replacements not always safe

Just buying something that is “BPA-free” isn’t enough to protect your health. A new report by Mother Jones found that many BPA replacements or other types of plastic have hormone-disrupting properties. This issue of equally harmful replacement chemicals underscores the need for a robust and functioning federal program on chemicals. Without federal laws determining which chemicals are safe, and sending a clear message to the marketplace that equally unsafe replacement chemicals and materials won’t be tolerated, this concept of the “toxic treadmill” will continue.

We’ve seen problems with toxic replacement chemicals with BPA, toxic flame retardants and phthalates to name a few. Read more about the estrogenic plastic…

BPS linked to hyperactivity in fish

The Endocrine Society – the largest and well-respected professional society of endocrinologists –  recently released the results of a new study examining the effects of BPS in fish populations. When we released our study finding BPA in thermal receipt paper, some retailers responded to public concern by phasing out the toxic chemical. The replacement however, BPS, has similar properties to BPA and is raising red flags for scientists and health professionals. According to the article in Science Daily,

“BPS, termed the safe alternative to BPA, may be equally as harmful to developing brains,” said the study’s senior investigator, Deborah Kurrasch, PhD, from Canada’s University of Calgary. “Society must place increased pressure on decision makers to remove all bisphenol compounds from manufacturing processes.” Read more… 

BPA may diminish effects of breast cancer treatment

We know that BPA is linked to breast and prostate cancer, and early studies have shown BPA interfering with common breast cancer treatment drug tamoxifen. Building on that research, Duke University recently released a new study and,

“Researchers suggest that the chemical neutralizes the effects of prescription drugs meant to keep the cancerous cell from growing.” Read more…

The new research around chemicals like BPA and BPS underscores the need for a strong federal policy on toxic chemicals. Until we have meaningful reform of our federal laws, we’ll be stuck in this cycle of chasing chemical after chemical. Perhaps it’s time for the chemical industry and product manufacturers to proactively use safer chemicals and materials before releasing them onto the market?

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