Not so Fast, BPA-Free Products are Just as Harmful

Okay, so you bought a new blender. The carafe is plastic, but it’s a relief to know that it is BPA-free, right? Not so fast. BPA-free alternatives are officially as harmful as BPA containing plastics.

Twenty years ago, a research team inadvertently stumbled upon an important finding. The bisphenol-A (BPA) in damaged plastic cages were causing female lab mice to develop chromosomally abnormal eggs and unexpected fertility issues, yet BPA wasn’t officially deemed harmful. Since then, BPA has steadily been removed from the mainstream in favor of BPA-free alternatives.

But these alternatives may not be any better. Other versions of bisphenols, like the popular BPS, are commonly promoted as BPA-free, safe plastic materials. But the same team of researchers who made the discovery on BPA 20 years ago recently published a study in Current Biology which draws eerily similar conclusions about other chemicals in the bisphenol family. Their mice started demonstrating subtle fertility issues after exposure to damaged, BPA-free plastic cages.

There are dozens of chemicals deemed BPA alternatives, and it is unclear yet whether all of these are harmful or just some. The issue is that chemicals are being introduced at such a rapid rate that chemical regulatory agencies—the ones who tell us which chemicals are safe and which aren’t—just can’t keep up. How reassuring.

Not so Fast, BPA-Free Products are Just as Harmful

The research also showed that even if we were able to eliminate bisphenol contaminants entirely, their lasting disruptive effects would still persist for about three generations. And that’s not the only potential threat. Researchers on this study also want to look more closely into parabens, phthalates, and flame retardants, as they suspect they may have similarly adverse effects on fertility.

Advice from the researchers? Patricia Hunt of Washington State University warms consumers, BPA-free or not, “plastic products that show physical signs of damage or aging cannot be considered safe.”

Avoiding plastics as often as possible is even a better idea. When upgrading your containers and home goods, be sure to search for plastic-free alternatives, like glass, steel or bamboo. And if you’re in the market for a new blender after being grossed out by all the potentially harmful BPA-free options, look for one that skips out on all bisphenols completely, like this excellent vacuum blender that is completely plastic-free on the inside.

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89 comments

rachel r
Past Member 23 days ago

Thank you!

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

just can't win...

thank you Jordyn...

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 2 months ago

Thanks for posting.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

It seems that everything we eat, drink, and touch is dangerous. Then why has our life expectancy nearly doubled in the past decades?

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Marija M
Marija M2 months ago

tks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

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