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article imageBPA-free plastics still pose a risk to human health

By Tim Sandle     Feb 29, 2020 in Environment
A new study finds that 'BPA-free' plastic products have the potential to be as equally harmful to human health (including a child’s developing brain) compared with products that contain the BPA chemical.
The scientific research into the toxicity of Bisphenol A (BPA) plastics is very detailed, leading to most nations banning the use of the plastic or issuing warnings where there is no other alternative. BPA is banned in the U.K. (since 2011), but there is only a partial ban in the U.S. (such the chemical being prohibited for use in baby feed bottles).
BPA, based on animal studies, has been linked to pregnancy loss, placental diseases and other poor-health outcomes impacting a child during their formative years. This happens because BPA is an xenoestrogen, exhibiting estrogen-mimicking, hormone-like properties.
While plastics manufacturers have made strides in producing products that come under the label "BPA-free", health concerns remain according to research conducted at University of Missouri-Columbia. This extends to products containing a BPA alternative called bisphenol S (BPS).
Running similar animal models that were used to asses BPA, the research team considered the impact of BPS on a mouse's placenta. This examination is important since the placenta transfers what the mother is exposed to in her blood to the developing child, including synthetic chemicals like BPA and BPS.
Furthermore, the placenta is the main source of serotonin for fetal brain development. Serotonin can affect the way a person's functions, such as with emotions and physical activities such as sleeping.
This type of research is called translational medicine, where the objective is to seek new understandings about human health by taking the outcomes of animal science discoveries and interpreting these in terms of the impact upon people.
The research so far indicates that BPS can be transferred from mother to fetus. Further research will be needed to determine what effects this has and whether BPS leads to the same concerns as BPA, and whether new alerts need to be sounded about BPA-alternative plastic products.
The research into BPA alternatives is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research is titled “Bisphenol A and bisphenol S disruptions of the mouse placenta and potential effects on the placenta–brain axis.”
More about Plastic, Bpa, toxicity, BPA levels, Pollutants
 
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