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BPA Free Containers Not So Safe After All

Here we go again. Not so long ago governments worldwide banned the use of BPA in plastic containers. Studies showed the plastic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) was linked to some serious health problems including breast and prostate cancer, heart trouble, type II diabetes, autism, liver tumours, asthma, infertility and obesity. In response to the public's outcry, manufacturers removed the chemical from their products and replaced it with bisphenol S (BPS). Now it's been discovered that the replacement is as bad or worse than the original. This latest discovery, demonstrates yet again, the failure of a regulatory system that allows manufacturers to use chemicals that have never been properly tested to rule out potential health effects.

The groundbreaking study from University of Calgary researchers found that even tiny doses cause concerning brain damage in zebrafish. "I was actually very surprised at our results. This was a very, very, very low dose, so I didn't think using a dose this low could have any effect," says Deborah Kurrasch, PhD, a researcher in the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine.

In the study, published in PNAS scientists exposed zebrafish embryos to concentrations of the chemicals at levels found in the Bow and Old Man rivers of Alberta, Canada. By doing this, exposure to BPA and BPS changed the timing of neuron formation in the brains of the zebrafish. "These findings are important because they support that the prenatal period is a particularly sensitive stage, and reveals previously unexplored avenues of research into how early exposure to chemicals may alter brain development, " says Cassandra Kinch, a PhD student involved in the study.

What this means is BPA and BPS may scramble crucial brain development that takes place during the second trimester, causing too many neurons to form early and not enough to form later in development. In essence, the plastical chemicals short-circuit the brain, causing lifelong problems like hyperactivity. In fact, researchers discovered the number of neurons generated in the developing zebrafish brains increased by 180 percent compared with unexposed fish. They also learned that BPS increased the number of neurons by 240 percent in similar experiments.

Cultivate conscious choice to protect your family from the perils of BPS, BPA, and their chemical cousins:

  • Avoid plastic whenever possible, including plastics making "BPA-free" claims.
  • Replace plastic water bottles with high-quality stainless steel, such as those from Klean Kanteen.
  • Use glass food storage containers like Pyrex or Ball mason jars,
  • Ditch old, scratched plastic.
  • Avoid canned food and opt for fresh whole foods or frozen whenever possible.
  • Say no to receipts for trivial purchases. The coating on the paper usually contains BPA or BPS and has been shown to easily seep into your skin.
  • Eden Foods is one of the few companies that uses a vegetable-based canned food lining.