(FOOD ADVOCATE NOTE: This Food Advocate Blog has been guest written by Nick Lasky)
Here is the bottom line: “a BPA-free label doesn’t mean a product is free from other harmful chemical compounds that are slightly different but have a different name” .
Many studies now show that plastic products with Bisphenol S or BPS also cause hormone disruption in your body, just like BPA. The chemical compound BPS behaves very similarly, acting as an endocrine disruptor, which causes harm to your body by interfering with how your cells respond to naturally occurring hormones.
After the “Great BPA Scare,” plastic companies began to look for alternatives that would meet the public demand for products that are BPA-free. While many of the plastic products we currently consume no longer contain BPA, many of them do contain BPS, making those “BPA-free” products effectively no safer than before.
This is a worldwide problem. Alarmingly, 81% of urine samples from eight different countries contained traces of BPS, according to a study in 2012.
By using BPS instead, manufacturers have the ability to stick a “BPA-free” label on their product, which is something that influences health-conscious consumers like you and I. However, the BPA-Free Package program, one group that certifies products as BPA-free, has stopped operations due to the certification creating a “false halo of health” amidst the increasing evidence of the negative health impacts of BPS and BPF, a similar chemical compound.
“We’ve got to do something about putting brand new compounds in products without having consulted with biologists about what they do“ claims Cheryl Watson. Watson is a professor in the biochemistry and molecular biology department at the University of Texas and lead author of the BPS study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
With so many things to look out for, it can seem overwhelming and hard to keep up with all of the latest information and news that affect our food and consumption decisions. But here are some simple guidelines when it comes to plastic:
1) Whenever possible, AVOID PLASTICS.
2) Never put plastics in the Microwave, Dishwasher or in the Sun. Heating can break down plastics and allow BPA, BPS and similar chemicals to leach into your food/drink.
3) Drink from glass and stainless steel containers.
4) Store food in glass containers as much as possible.
5) Say goodbye to old and scratched plastic containers. Over time tiny pieces of plastic can break off and find its way into your or your children’s bodies.