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“BPA-free” does not guarantee safety

A study by Bittner et al, published in the journal Environmental Health, showed that the packaging claim “BPA-free” has no meaning, since replacement chemicals have also been shown to be endocrine disruptors.

This hazard assessment survey showed that many BPA-free polycarbonate- replacement products still leached chemicals having significant levels of estrogen activity, as did BPA-containing polycarbonate counterparts they were meant to replace. That is, BPA-free did not mean the product has no estrogen activity. However, this study also showed that some polycarbonate-replacement products did not leach chemicals having significant levels of EA.

Another study by the same lead researcher, George Bittner, specifically showed that Tritan, a common replacement for the bisphenols BPA, BPF, and BPS, also has estrogenic activity. (Note that Eastman Chemical, the producer of Tritan, took Bittner to court to challenge his research, and won their case.  Bittner’s comment on the proceedings was “I think people are recognizing that it’s not the courts that determine scientific questions.”)

Chemicals with estrogenic activity bind to one or more estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, and can produce various adverse health effects in mammals, such as early menarche, reduced sperm counts and other altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, and increased rates of some cancers. Fetal, infant and juvenile mammals have been reported to be especially sensitive to low doses of chemicals that exhibit estrogenic activity.