Whenever we see “free” labelled on a product, it tends to trick our brains into thinking, “Hey, that must be good for me!” Seriously, think about it. When you see a cereal box label that reads “gluten-free,” do you immediately assume it’s healthy? When you read “paraben-free” on the front of a shampoo bottle, do you just assume it’s all-natural?
Although sometimes these labels can indicate that something is healthier or better suited for your dietary needs, they can also act as sources of misinformation or false advertising. For example, just because something’s labelled as “all-natural” doesn’t actually mean that it’s 100% natural.
We saw this trend within the plastics industry as well when restrictions started to be imposed on BPA and public awareness surrounding the health risks of BPA increased. Now, it’s very common to see “BPA-free” on the labels of water bottles and plastic containers.
Yes, this was a victory for human health, as BPA can harm our bodies. However, if BPA isn’t in our plastic, what exactly is, and how can that affect us?
BPA Alternatives in Plastic Could Be Just as Dangerous as BPA
A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that the chemicals used to replace BPA may be just as harmful as BPA itself, posing the same risks on the human body, ie. hormone disruption.
The researchers studied two different BPA alternatives: Bisphenol S and F, referred to as BPS and BPF. These alternatives were chosen because they perform similarly to BPA; however, it seems they also pose the same health risks. Although further research needs to be conducted to figure out how much these compounds could truly affect the body, this study suggests that there is some cause for concern.
“According to pretty much all the literature there is on these two substitutes, they are hormonally active in ways similar to BPA – similar mechanisms, similar potencies,” explained study author Johanna Rochester, a researcher for the Endocrine Disruption Exchange.
Interestingly enough, BPS and BPF have been found in tons of other products including personal care products like shampoos and body wash, paper products, and even food products including meat, dairy, and canned goods.
This isn’t the first study to show how BPA alternatives could be just as bad as BPA itself, either. In fact, one study conducted by the University of Calgary showed how BPS could negatively affect brain development.
You can read more about that study below in our CE article:
To be clear, I’m not telling you just to revert back to buying regular plastic! There are tons of issues with plastic, only one of which is BPA. BPA has been linked to behavioural problems, endocrine and reproductive disorders, obesity, cancers, and immune deficiency disorders, which you can read more about in our CE article here.
A great alternative to plastic bottles is glassware! You can purchase glass containers at practically any home store and they’re even more durable than plastic, as many of them are oven-safe.
It’s important that we educate one another on potential health risks, not to scare one another, but to progress as a healthier and more educated society!
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