New studies released this week show that even BPA-free plastics can be harmful to our health. Manufacturers have simply replaced the toxic chemical BPA with a substitute called Bisphenol S (or BPS) which is proving to be just as harmful. Lets get down to the basics:
Q: Why is BPA used at all?
A: BPA is an industrial chemical that is used to make many household consumer plastics hard. It is also used in the linings of some metal based canned food and drinks to preserve flavor and protect against contamination.
Q: Why is BPA bad?
A: Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupter and has estrogen like hormones that when used in plastics or consumer goods leak into the foods and liquids we consume. It has proven to be linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autism, asthma, thyroid function, fetal and brain development and much more. The list is long. It has the most prominent effect on young children whose bodies cannot process the chemical like an adults (not recommended for adults either) and who are more likely to use plastics. Most adults tend to use a mix of plastic, metal and glass containers or tableware. Unfortunately most children get stuck with using plastic.
Q: Is BPA banned in all consumer plastics?
A: No. It is only banned nationally from baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula. Some states have also banned the sale of BPA in products used for food storage, beverage containers, infant baby food cans, infant formula and receipt paper.
Q: What is used to replace BPA?
A: The most common replacement for BPA is Bisphenol S (BPS) and has proven to be more stable to heat and light. However, the chemical also has limited labeling regulations - meaning manufacturers do not have to tell you if they use BPS. Legal prohibition on BPA still allows products containing BPS to be labelled "BPA free".
Q: Is BPS safe?
A: We do not believe so. It is proving to be just as harmful as BPA and contains endocrine disrupters just like BPA. BPS research is growing and in some cases, is showing even more pronounced side effects than what it replaced. As more research continues, we will continue to update you.