Most of us have heard of Bisphenol-A, the hormone disrupting plastics chemical found in many plastics, including polycarbonates.
Canada banned it, the EU won’t allow it in baby products, the FDA won’t allow it in baby bottles and cups. It’s still used in lots of things, though, from the lining in tinned foods, to thermal cash register receipts and even currency.
There has been such a public outcry against manufacturers using chemicals that are known to be harmful to people and the environment, that consumers have voted with their feet and forced both governments and manufacturers to stop using Bisphenol-A in baby products.
The good news is that there are now a lot of BPA free products on the market. What the manufacturers aren’t telling us, though, is that they’ve switched from Bisphenol-A, to alternatives such as Bisphenol-S (BPS).
There are many different types of Bisphenol, including Bisphenol-A, Bisphenol AB and AF, Bisphenol B, C, E, F, G, M, S, P, PH, TMC, and even a Bisphenol-Z. So just because your baby bottle says it’s BPA free, doesn’t mean that it’s free from any other kind of Bisphenol.
So what is Bisphenol-S? It’s has a very similar chemical structure to BPA, but there hasn’t been as much research done on it. There are even indications that it’s worse for you than Bisphenol-A, as it’s not as biodegradable, and it’s more heat stable. This means that it has the same hormone mimicking properties, and it doesn’t degrade as quickly as BPA, meaning that it may accumulate for longer in your body.
BPS may not leach as easily, because it has stronger compounds than BPA. The problem is that not much research has been done on BPS yet.
Manufacturers are using BPS, and labeling their products BPA free, because there’s not a lot of evidence yet to point to the fact that using BPS as an alternative is just as bad for you. Until there’s more research, and a public outcry, manufacturers will keep using it – because they can.
So what’s the solution?
It’s the same as with Bisphenol-A. Move away from plastic wherever you can, and choose, glass, ceramic, stainless steel and wood instead.
- Use glass bottles and stainless steel baby bottles where possible, and if you must use plastic, choose polypropylene (#5) bottles, as polypropylene has been around for a long time and a lot of research has been done on it, showing it to be the safest plastic.
- Avoid polycarbonates, and avoid new plastics like polyethersulfone (PES), which is made with Bisphenol-S.
- Choose food in jars, rather than in tins, or choose fresh fruit and vegetables instead.
- Find safe alternatives to toxic plastic toys – wood, organic cotton, and safe plastics are all better choices.
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