Kerry Greens writing for the Scientist reports on Washington State research reminding that the alarm over the plastic ingredient bisphenol A has led to marketing campaigns boasting BPA-free products—and a reasonable assumption by consumers that such labeling indicates greater safety. But the ingredients that substitute for BPA may act in much the same way as the original.
A study published today (September 13) in Current Biology finds pregnant mice exposed to the BPA substitutes BPS and diphenyl sulfone have offspring with chromosomal defects, and the abnormalities can persist for generations.
“This is disturbing but not unexpected,” Linda Giudice, a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study, tells Discover. “The replacements are the same class of compounds and they have the same mechanisms of action.”
This is not the first report that BPS and other BPA substitutes might yield the same untoward effects on animals. Several studies in zebrafish, for instance, have found that the compounds disrupt the endocrine system, and in cells, the chemicals can lead to fat accumulation.