New research further muddies the waters about the safety of a certain class of plastics used in bottles and food can lining. Researchers at the University of Calgary say that bisphenol-S, marketed as an alternative to bisphenol-A, might even be more harmful than BPA.
The disruption of prenatal cellular activity in zebra fish, which are genetically similar to humans and often used for testing, appeared to create hyperactivity, according to the report.
“Finding the mechanism linking low doses of BPA (or BPS) to adverse brain development and hyperactivity is almost like finding a smoking gun,” Hamid Habibi, one of the authors of the study, said in a news release.
The chemical industry responded quickly.
“The relevance of this limited study on zebra fish to human health, as asserted by the authors, is not at all clear,” Steven Hentges, with the council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, said in a statement. “The study examines effects of relatively high concentrations of BPA on zebra fish embryos in water, and the authors claim the results are directly relevant to humans, in particular to women during the second trimester of pregnancy. In contrast, humans are exposed to only trace levels of BPA through the diet … and quickly eliminate it from the body.”
Bisphenol-S can be used as a precursor in epoxy or polyethersulfone, a clear, hard plastic that can be used to replace polycarbonate in bottles or cups.
Eastman Chemical uses a different chemical to make another plastic touted in packaging and medical markets as a BPA-free replacement. It has also been criticized in some articles, including a lengthy Mother Jones report, for using chemicals that can create health problems.
Talk abaout confusing.
One thing seems to be for sure. The chemical industry needs to do more safety testing on materials before introducing them into consumer products widely used for infants or for medical applications.