Faced with a growing number of scientific studies that show exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) has a negative impact on human health, companies are starting to remove it from many plastic and paper product. Unfortunately, they’ve largely replaced it with a chemically similar compound, called Bisphenol-S (BPS).
It’s a new twist on the classic bait-and-switch: when consumers are up in arms about the toxicity of a certain material, companies quietly replace it with something equally dangerous, but lesser known. They get to rebrand their products and consumers thing they’re protecting themselves from risk.
A study recently published in Environmental Science & Technology finds that more toxicology research is required before we’ll really know whether BPS is safer than BPA. Although it has not been studied as much as BPA, preliminary studies show that BPS shares many of the same hormone-mimicking properties.
In the study, researchers found BPS in 16 types of paper and paper products, including thermal receipts, paper currencies, flyers, magazines, newspapers, food contact papers, airplane luggage tags, paper towels, printing paper and toilet paper. BPS was also found in 87 percent of currency bill samples from 21 countries. This means there is tremendous opportunity for humans to be exposed to the chemical without really knowing about its potential impact.
Even more worrisome is the fact that other research has found that bisphenol S is much less biodegradable than BPA. In a study of eight bisphenol compounds, bisphenol S was the most persistent.
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