The scam behind ‘BPA-free’
It’s the one-letter switch that could put your health and the health of your family in jeopardy — and it’s a switch no one has warned you about.
It’s the shift away from bisphenol-A to bisphenol-S in food containers, packages, and paper products to BPA-free products.
On the surface, it sounds great.
You know all about BPA by now — about how it mimics estrogen in the body and has been linked to obesity, diabetes, thyroid problems, sexual dysfunction, and a whole lot more.
So you go out of you way to buy “BPA-free” products — even when that means paying extra.
But before you open your wallet, consider what makes those products “BPA-free” in the first place — because in many cases, it’s that BPS I just mentioned.
As the names suggest, both BPA and BPS belong to the same class of chemicals — but the similarities don’t end with the names and chemical class. They also share many of the same risks — and in some cases, BPS could be even worse than BPA, making BPA-free products still risky.
In one new in vitro study, University of Texas researchers found that BPS does pretty much the same thing as BPA, at least on the cellular level. In a series of tests, BPS interfered with the response to estrogen.
This disrupted critical cellular processes, including the growth and death of those cells.
This didn’t happen at massive doses either. It happened at very small levels of exposure — levels equal to what a human might be exposed to from BPS leeching into food and drink from plastic containers, according to the researchers.
The experiments were done on rat cells in a lab dish, but other recent studies have been every bit as worrying. One study last year even found that BPS is actually more effective at penetrating the skin than BPA.
What makes that report so disturbing is that paper is actually one of the prime sources of BPA and BPS exposure — including the paper receipts we all handle nearly every day.
Clearly, avoiding BPA, BPS, and the rest of the endocrine-disrupting hormones out there is a lot harder than simply looking for BPA-free labels on packages. But there’s one easy way to avoid the entire alphabet soup of bad chemicals.
And all you have to do is avoid the foods and drinks you shouldn’t be eating anyway. That means pass on anything in a can, bag, or bottle and shop the perimeter of the supermarket instead.
That’s where you’ll find everything you need — fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats.
Along with avoiding dangerous chemicals, you and your family will also eat better at every meal.
And maybe you should tell the clerk to keep the receipt.