In the brief span of one week, three studies drew attention to potential health hazards in newly introduced non-BPA plastics. The worse news is that without more testing and laws to safeguard against unknown/unlabled toxins, it’s impossible to buy a verifiably safe plastic product.
As an endocrine disruptor, even minute amounts of BPA imitate the hormone estrogen, which potentially causes a variety of health concerns.
After exposing rat cells to bisphenol S (BSP), researchers found that low levels acted on the cells as had BPA.
“We didn’t think (BPS) would have those effects, but it’s essentially the same as BPA,” said Rene Vinas, one of the researchers who conducted the BPS study at the University of Texas.
Taiwanese researchers found melamine in the urine of study participants who ate soup out of bowls made of melamine, the shatterproof plastic used in tableware marketed for children. While the amount was small, 8 parts per billion, the plastic is a known carcinogen.
Consumers have no way of knowing if the register receipt in their hands or the BPA-free water bottle you bought for your child is laced with BPS.
“While in many cases, the contents of food and personal care products list ingredients, rarely do they list ingredients for containers they are in,” said Cheryl Watson, co-author of the BPS study.
“Even if you try to go by the recycling label on the container,” she continued, “it just lists the primary plastic, and not the other ones that may be mixed in. We know BPS is found in thermal paper (fax paper, receipt paper from ATMs and registers)—but who knows what else?”
Deputy director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, Lindsay Dahl says of the situation, “As someone who works on this every single day, it’s still hard for me to navigate the marketplace.”
Source: Discovery News, January 28, 2013 Study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, January, 2013