BPA-free food containers are still unhealthy

Because of the confirmation of the severe toxicity of Bisphenol-A contained in the plastic food container. Almost every big manufacturer around the world have shut the old plastic food container line down and opened a new line producing BFA-free food containers. However, this kind of plastic is not safe either. Instead of  Bisphenol-A, the new material contains a large amount of Bisphenol-S, which is as toxic as BPA to the human body. “once it enter the body,it can affect cells in ways that parallel BPA”. According to a study done by Cheryl Waston at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2013, “even picomolar concentrations (less than one part per trillion) of BPS can disrupt a cell’s normal functioning”, lead to hyperactivity, and hence may result in metabolic disorders such as birth defects, asthma, diabetes and obesity,  or even cancer. Another study published on Monday, Jan. 12 in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that a tiny little dose of Bisphenol-S will some how lead to the hyperactivity of brain cells. The experiment was using such low does of BPS on zebrafish that the researchers thought it won’t has any effect. However, “In the second trimester, brain cells become the specialized neurons that make up our brain. What we show is that the zebrafish exposed to BPA or BPS were getting twice as many neurons born too soon and about half as many neurons born later, so that will lead to problems in how the neurons connect and form circuits,” says Kurrasch, a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the department of medical genetics. “Here, we used zebrafish to link BPA mechanistically to disease etiology. Strikingly, treatment of embryonic zebrafish with very low-dose BPA (0.0068 μM, 1,000-fold lower than the accepted human daily exposure) and bisphenol S (BPS), a common analog used in BPA-free products, resulted in 180% and 240% increases, respectively, in neuronal birth (neurogenesis) within the hypothalamus, a highly conserved brain region involved in hyperactivity.” says the research article done by Cassandra D. Kincha, Kingsley Ibhazehiebo, Joo-Hyun Jeong, Hamid R. Habibia, and Deborah M. Kurrasch. Another research of comparing “BPA and 19 other related compounds for their ability to mimic the female hormone estrogen” done by a science group in Japanese shows that “the effects on human cells and found that bisphenol S was slightly less potent than BPA, but not by much: bisphenol S was active at 1.1 micromolar concentration, BPA at 0.63 micromolar”, which means:

micromolar concentration of BPA (which has been proved very toxic) = 0.63

micromolar concentration of BPS = 1.1

one micromolar ≈ a packet of sugar in 3,000 gallons of water

And now we know the micromolar concentration of BPS

= 1.1/ 0.63

≈ 1.75 times of that of BPA

“Other researchers have found that bisphenol S is much less biodegradable than BPA. In their study of eight bisphenol compounds, bisphenol S was the most persistent.” mentioned by this Japanese group.

In addition to that, According to Kurunthachalam Kannan and colleagues’ new study published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology,  BPS absorbs into the skin at much higher rates than BPA“. In the report, it says that:

The rate of being capable absorbing by human skin of BPS ≈ (1900% + 1) of that rate of BPA

Obviously, the toxicity of BPS is almost confirmed. Using plastic food container or water container containing BPS will gradually damage our health in unpleasant high rate.  Though we still need more research on more details about its toxicity, we can certain that it is correlative to a series of disease of human beings and thus we can certain that it is unsustainable. For the sake of our own health, I believe we should get rid of not only the BPA-contained food container, but these new kind of plastic food container as well. Instead, using harmless glass food container is more sustainable for our health.

Cassandra D. Kinch, Kingsley Ibhazehiebo, Joo-Hyun Jeong, Hamid R. Habibi, and Deborah M. Kurrasch
Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish




BPA-Free Products Still Contain Bisphenols of Equal Toxicity



BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous




Is BPS the New Mystery Chemical in BPA-free Cans, Dishes and Kitchen Appliances?




Bisphenol s, a new bisphenol analogue, in paper products and currency bills and its association with bisphenol a residues.




BPA and BPS (substitute for BPA) affect embryonic brain development in zebrafish: Low levels of chemicals linked to hyperactivity



BPA: What’s the alternative?



BPS is up to 19 times more absorbable in the skin than BPA


3 thoughts on “BPA-free food containers are still unhealthy

  1. William Asbury Fitzgerald

    Wei, I like this post because when I see “BPA Free” on plastic bottles and containers, I automatically assume its somehow safer. I think this in some ways relates to my most recent post concerning deceptive advertising. Companies make sure that you see that their water bottle is BPA free and that you should therefore buy it, when in reality it is not necessarily any safer.

  2. John Roe

    While you are revising this you also need to make the links active. Most of them are not active at present.

    Perhaps you can justify your statement that BPA “has been proved very toxic”. “Has been removed from food containers as a precaution” is not exactly the same thing.

  3. Sara Jamshidi

    This is a great topic and one few people know about. I think you present a number of compelling facts regarding the dangers of BPS (often in BPA). You also end with a clear claim: We should stop using plastics with BPA and BPS.

    Although a question of sustainability exists, your post doesn’t make it obvious. Based on the science that you present (which is very well cited), you establish the possibility that that BPS could jeopardize human health. But to what extent? The research you cite is on zebrafish. Perhaps you can scale that to the size of a human and consider the corresponding level of BPS. It would be interesting to see how those levels correspond to exposure. How much BPS is in a piece of plastic?

    I know you plan on making this a two-part post, so you may be planning to include this discussion in the second half. I would urge you to consider addressing at least some of this in part 1. As it is currently written, you do not have much mathematical content, which is an important component of the grade for each post.

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