“Safer” Chemical May Damage Heart

Over the last decade or so, we have been becoming more and more aware of how dangerous the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is. This led to it being phased out of many products and replaced with bisphenol S (BPS). Now, scientists are saying that BPS may be dangerous for heart health.
After BPA, found in many bottles, receipts, toys and cans, was linked to problems like autism, infertility, obesity and other issues. Most people have heard about it being in plastic bottles and can linings. But, it’s also used in dental sealants, IV lines and more. The chemical is used so widely that it can be detected in more than 90 percent of people. Because of safety concerns, it was replaced in many products with BPS.
Products marked as being “BPA-free,” that previously contained the chemical, likely contain BPS. However, animal research found that BPS not only harmed the heart but at twice the speed.
There is also a strong possibility that products marked “BPA-free” never had BPA in the first place. “My suspicion is that the BPA-free label is marketing,” said Erica Phipps, executive director of Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment. “It’s responding to the fact that BPA has now been identified as something that we’d like to avoid exposure to. You’ll see it on categories of products that never had BPA to start with.”
That labeling also happens many times when foods are marked as “gluten-free” despite the fact that they never would, such as “gluten-free” potato chips
While some companies brag about being “BPA-free,” others keep mum about its continued presence.  Because removing BPA is not mandatory, many products that you don’t realize contain BPA have made no change, including receipts. New York City is holding hearings on a package of bills aimed at banning paper receipts coated with BPA.
The researchers saw the BPS, the chemical deemed safer, impacts heart function in as little as five minutes. “Previous research has looked at the chronic effects that can happen when exposed to BPS over days,” study author Prof. Glen Pyle, of Guelph Univ., said. “This is an important finding because it means you don’t need to have a buildup of the chemical over time to experience its harmful effects.” 
Chemicals like BPA, that end up getting phased out through regulation or through voluntary corporate action, are being replaced by what are referred to as ‘regrettable substitutes,’” said Muhannad Malas, from the Canadian advocacy group Environmental Defence.
We hope that, in the future, companies become more responsible and remove BPA and BPS of their own accord. Until then, we’ll be skipping paper receipts whenever possible and avoiding plastic water bottles.
January 17, 2020

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