Bottle

With heightened concerns over the human health risks connected with the endocrine disrupting effects of BPA (bisphenol-A)—the plastic polymer commonly found in canned-food linings and a number of other household products—many manufacturers have begun removing the controversial chemical. But, it’s now frequently being replaced with another chemical that may be just as detrimental to your health.

BPS (bisphenol-S) is a chemical similar to BPA, being used in products labeled as “BPA-free,” but new research published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests the replacement substance may pose similar hormone disrupting effects on human health.

BPA has been banned in several countries including China, Canada and France. The FDA has recently issued regulations for use of BPA in baby products, but it’s still found in a number of household plastic items. It’s even found in cash register receipts. And while avoiding BPA can be fairly easy to an educated consumer, studies have found that low dose exposure can be even more harmful than high doses. It appears the same goes for BPS, “People automatically think low doses do less than high doses,” said Cheryl Watson, a University of Texas biochemistry professor and lead author of the study, “But both natural hormones and unnatural ones like [BPS] can have effects at surprisingly low doses.”

According to Environmental Health News, “Researchers exposed rat cells to levels of BPS that are within the range people are exposed to. And, just like BPA, the compound interfered with how cells respond to natural estrogen, which is vital for reproduction and other functions.” Watson said, “I think we should all stop and be very cautious about just accepting this as a substitute for BPA” adding that it’s “not just BPS. We should question the whole process about how we introduce chemicals into the marketplace without properly testing them first.”

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Image: sjon