BPS, (Bisphenol-S), is an organic compound prepared by the reaction of 2 equivalents of phenol and 1 equivalent of sulfuric acid. Some refer to it as the cousin to BPA, a carbon based synthetic compound. There is a huge opportunity for human exposure to this chemical without knowing its potential impact on health.
BPS is now being used as a replacement to BPA in hard plastics, recycled and thermal paper products. Some consumer products include: cash register receipts, tickets, mailing envelopes, luggage tags, airline boarding passes, paper currencies, newspapers, fliers, magazines, ultrasound results, baby bottles and other hard plastics. BPS is less likely to leech into food/drinks from plastics than BPA but according to the Center of Disease Control, (CDC), it is up to 19 times more absorbable by the skin than BPA! BPS can also enter our bodies by hand-to-mouth contact.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, affecting your overall health. Since BPS in now in so many consumer products touched on a daily basis, repeatedly, this brings awareness to the potential of toxic dangers and risk to overall health.
Most people are aware of BPA, (Bisphenol A), a substance having great controversy in the past several years. This compound mimics estrogen in the body, disrupting hormones. It can leach into food or drinks from plastic containers. Almost everything you come in contact with from plastics to PVC piping to canned goods, plastic baby toys, world paper currency, thermal receipt paper, dental sealants are all primary sources of BPA.
BPA is known to be, especially, dangerous to pregnant women, infants and children. In Sept. 2010 Canada declared BPA a toxic substance, but to date no other country has followed in kind. The USA and Canada has banned BPA in baby bottles. Some manufacturers have not removed BPA entirely, only a percentage. With widespread consumer outrage, many manufacturers have began making “BPA-free” products. This label is very attractive to health conscious consumers but unfortunately, it may just be a manufacturer marketing ploy. Health conscious consumers think they’re avoiding toxic substances when they could be ingesting something worse.
The research about BPS is still in its infancy. There is still much to learn about this compound. A recent study by the Environmental Science and Technology says more toxicology research is required before knowing whether BPS is safer than BPA. No conclusive laboratory tests reports cancer, heart problems, infertility or other health problems caused by BPS. However, studies have revealed that BPS is showing up in human urine at levels equivalent to BPA. GreenMedInfo reports “it is less biodegradable than BPA, which means it may have worse affects on the environment and human health. Once it is absorbed into human body, it may accumulate there for longer periods of time. It is more likely to persist in the environment making external exposure to it more likely.” Research has discovered that BPS does interfere with cell growth and cell death, even at the small levels of exposure that humans encounter everyday.
Why, then, is BPS used? Because just as food manufacturers can label products “fat-free” and not mention the dangers of other ingredients, (like sugar for instance), plastic manufacturers can label products “BPA-free”, while omitting the replacement similar toxic chemical BPS. Many manufacturers have just replaced one toxic bisphenol for another. BPS may be much worse than BPA.
With all of the unresolved controversy, inconclusive research and lies of omission from plastic manufacturers, it’s no wonder there are so many illnesses cropping up in society. Mercola, (a proponent of alternative medicine), states plastics may be “an alphabet soup of toxic chemicals.” As stated in the Toxic Substance Control Act, (TSCA), “the U.S. law that regulates chemicals in commerce, it’s entirely permissible to launch a new material into high-volume production without disclosing its precise chemical identity or any information about its toxicity. This makes it impossible for the public to assess product safety independently of manufacturer claims. And currently, despite EPA and FDA policies that support “safe” alternatives to a chemical of concern like BPA, neither federal agency conducts safety testing of new materials destined for consumer products before they come on the market.” So, what can you do to help reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals? The following detoxification tips can help you get started:
TIPS for REDUCING BPS EXPOSURE
– Avoid as many plastics as possible.
– Choose glass jarred goods over canned goods.
– Choose organic fresh foods, instead of canned. Try juicing recipes!
– Read consumer product ingredient labels. Avoid any known toxins.
– Keep hands away from your mouth. Try washing hands frequently.
– Choose glass, ceramic or stainless steel over plastic, especially those products that contact food or drinks.
– Get rid of plastic children toys, sipping cups, teething rings, etc… Choose soft fabric varieties for children, instead. Buy wooden kids toys. Quality wooden toys last longer than plastic toys anyway.
– Limit your contact with thermal paper products. For instance, have cash register receipts placed in bags. Remove receipts from bags with gloves for discarding or filing. Don’t accept gas station receipts. If you work around thermal paper on a daily basis, consider wearing light weight gloves.
Completely eliminating your exposure to BPA or BPS would probably be impossible in society, today, but you do have a choice as to how to reduce your toxic exposure. Don’t be fooled by marketing ads. Learn about, potentially, toxic chemicals. Stay updated with consumer product reports. Get pro-active about your health! Why take a risk? Like the saying goes… “better safe than sorry”.