Over the past few years – and for good reason – it has become more common for us to see ‘BPA Free’ labels plastered all over packaged foods when walking the grocery store aisles. BPA (Bisphenol A) is a compound regularly used in the production of plastics and cans that fell under heavy scrutiny after being linked to a negative impact on brain development. (Find out more HERE)
Once this became public information, the ‘BPA Free’ trend began with dozens of popular brands, particularly in the health conscious community, changing their production process to steer clear of the dangerous chemical. While some scrapped the chemical completely, others chose to transition away from it by replacing it with its sibling bisphenol S (BPS). For the scientifically inclined, BPS is an analog of BPA that is commonly used as a reactant in epoxy reactions.
Unfortunately, a recent study put forth by the University of Calgary has shown that BPS could be just as – if not more – dangerous to the development of our brain. The results of the study, which were published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed alterations in brain development as well as hyperactivity in the zebrafish upon which the study was conducted. (1)
Although substantially more research needs to be conducted before these results can be fully verified, the one element that particularly stood out to lead researcher Deborah Kurrasch was the low dosage needed to elicit the undesirable outcome.
“I was actually very surprised at our results. This was a very, very, very low dose, so I didn’t think using a dose this low could have any effect…” (1)
Since the release of the publication, the American Chemical Council has publicly questioned the relevance of the study to humans, similar to the backlash previously expressed in response to early studies regarding BPA. However in 2012, shortly after the BPA-related backlash, the FDA stated that BPA could no longer be used in the manufacture of baby bottles or sippy cups.
This stance definitely shows some recognition on the part of the FDA towards the potential dangers associated with BPA, however they continue to stand by the safety of its use in canned foods and beverages. (2)
How To Steer Clear of Both BPA & BPS
Whether you find the findings of this study credible or not, it is certainly always better to be safe than sorry, and thankfully steering clear of both BPA and BPS is a lot easier than it might seem. Here are some helpful tips for avoiding both BPA and BPS:
- Switch to using glass or stainless steel containers
- Use fresh produce rather than packaged foods
- Don’t ever heat food in any form of a plastic container, as the heat is known to create increased leaching of BPA when it is present in the plastic
- Except when absolutely necessary, opt to not receive a receipt – or if available select to have it e-mailed to you
- Choose bar soaps over soaps packaged in a plastic container
For more information on BPA, be sure to check out both of the following related articles:
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