Bisphenol A substitute has toxic effects.

bpaBisphenol A, (BPA), is a key ingredient found in many plastic products. It has over the years been to diabetes, asthma and cancer and altered prostate and neurological development. Based upon consumer demand and action BPA was restricted and there waqs considerable pressure to remove BPA from shelves.

In response BPA free products were created which contain bisphenol S, (BPS). BPS is used in everything from currency to thermal receipt paper. Widespread human exposure to BPS is pervasive as demonstrated with urine samples from the U.S., Japan, China and five other countries in a 2012 study.

New studies have now emerged which suggest that BPS may have similar toxic effects on the heart as previously reported for BPA. The results of one such study was presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society held in Chicago.

Hong-Sheng Wang, PhD, from the University of Cincinnati, presented one of the first health assessment of BPS’ effect in mice. Electocardiograms demonstrated that BPS caused extra heartbeats and a racing heartbeat, also known as ventricular tachycardia. In male rats, BPS reportedly did not have this rapid impact on the heart. Analyzing BPS impact on a cellular and protein level they found that BPS causes abnormal calcium handling or cycling which is a key cause of arrhythmia.

“Our findings call into question the safety of BPA-free products containing BPS,” Wang said. “BPS and other BPA analogs need to be evaluated before further use by humans.”

A second study by University of Texas researchers found that BPS disrupts cellular responses to the estrogen hormone, changing patterns of cell growth and death and hormone release. Like BPA it does so at extremely low levels of exposure.

“Our studies show that BPS is active at femtomolar to picomolar concentrations just like endogenous hormones — that’s in the range of parts per trillion to quadrillion,” said UTMB professor Cheryl Watson, senior author of the corresponding research paper.


René Viñas, Cheryl S. Watson. Bisphenol S Disrupts Estradiol-Induced Nongenomic Signaling in a Rat Pituitary Cell Line: Effects on Cell Functions. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2013; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1205826

Endocrine Society. “Common BPA substitute, BPS, disrupts heart rhythms in females.”

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