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Plastic bottles: alternative to bisphenol A is also harmful
Various studies in the past have indicated that the chemical plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) threatens our health. Chinese researchers have now found that a substance used as an alternative to BPA is also harmful.
Health hazards due to chemical plasticizers
The plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) is considered very dangerous because, according to experts, the substance can damage nerves and even trigger cancer. The substance is also said to have an impact on the hormonal balance and could possibly be a trigger for food allergies. In addition, studies indicate a connection between an elevated BPA level in the blood and diabetes, cardiovascular problems, a lack of libido or obesity. Scientists have now found that a supposedly harmless substitute for BPA can also be harmful.
Bisphenol A in many things of everyday life
Bisphenol A is found in many plastic products in everyday life, such as plastic bottles or the inner coating of cans.
Just a few months ago, scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine reported in the journal Environmental Research that canned food leads to high levels of BPA.
Various studies have shown that the substance can be harmful to health, but according to a communication from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) there is no risk for consumers.
"The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a new opinion in January 2015 to assess the health risks of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and other sources of exposure," the release said.
“The experts at EFSA concluded that BPA does not pose a health risk for any age group, based on the current state of science and current consumer exposure. This also applies to unborn children, toddlers and adolescents. ”The BfR supports the assessment of the EFSA reassessment.
Offspring born less live
The use of the chemical is regulated in some countries. Substitutes are often used instead and the products are then advertised as "BPA-free". According to a new study, however, these can also have problematic effects.
As the researchers from Peking University report in the journal "Nature Communications", the substitute 9,9-bis (4-hydroxy-phenyl) fluorine, or BHPF for short, has an anti-estrogenic effect in mice, in contrast to BPA.
According to the study, BHPF resulted in a slightly lower weight of the uterus and a lower number of live-born offspring, among other things, in experiments with mice, reports the "Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung" (DAZ).
According to the information, BHPF could be detected in the blood of female mice that were given water that had previously been heated to 60 degrees Celsius and cooled in plastic bottles.
Evidence also with test subjects
Although BHPF was detected in the blood of subjects who regularly drink water from plastic bottles, only seven out of 100 participants examined.
In addition, it is not clear whether the subjects actually took BHPF through the bottles or by other means.
"Our results suggest that BPA alternatives should be tested for anti-estrogenic effects - and that toxicological effects of BHPF on human health need to be examined," said environmental chemist Jianying Hu from Peking University.
Frederick vom Saal from the University of Missouri (USA) said in a contribution from the portal "New Scientist" that it would be "quite scary" if BHPF should bind to the same receptor in humans. This could "cause fertility problems". (ad)