A recent study featured in CNN discovered that BPA-free plastic bottles may be no safer than the BPA-containing plastic that they were meant to replace. The UCLA study analyzed the impact of a common BPA-alternative on zebra fish embryos and joins a small but growing group of similar research warning consumers about “BPA-Free” plastic alternatives. The study focused on a chemical called BPS (Bisphenol S), the most common plastic alternative to BPA, and the results were alarming.
“Our findings are frightening and important,” said senior author and reproductive endocrinologist Nancy Wayne. “Consider it the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine.”
In the study, Wayne and her colleagues looked at the impact of BPA and BPS on the genes and brain cells that control reproduction of Zebrafish. According to CNN, Zebrafish have historically been used to study the impact of plastic additives because their transparent embryos allow scientists to see and monitor cell growth.
“Our research showed that low levels of BPS had a similar impact on the embryo as BPA,” Wayne told CNN. “In the presence of either BPA or BPS, embryonic development was accelerated.”
Not only did BPS affect the levels of estrogen in the fish, the study also found both BPA and BPS affected the thyroid hormone system, and this has serious “implications for general embryonic and fetal development, including [that] in humans,” according to Wayne.
Basically, BPS had the same (if not worse) adverse health effects as BPA, and this is not the only study that has discovered such findings. A study held in Texas in 2013 found that as little as one part per trillion of BPS could interfere with the normal functioning of a cell, and even cause the cell to die. Similarly, a study out of Canada found that low level of BPA exposure accelerated the neural cell growth of fish by 180%. BPS (the supposedly healthy alternative) was even worse, with neural cell growth reaching 240%. Another study performed on rats found that BPS caused heart arrhythmia when given in doses equally to those humans usually experience.
What do all of these studies tell us?
“It’s all pointing in the same direction: BPS is not harmless,” said Wayne about the results of her study in connection with prior research. “Consumers should be cautious about the assumption that ‘BPA-free’ means a product is safe.”
So how can you protect yourself? The best possible option is to stay away from plastic products as much as possible, and use metal or glass food and water containers.
Fresh Water Systems offers a number of reusable glass bottles, jugs and growler bottles at exceptional prices, including Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles in a series of colors, and Neo Vas Stainless Steel Water Bottles as well.
All of these products are a safe alternative to plastic bottles. They will help to conserve the environment, save you money, and spare your health.