BPA update: Bisphenol A alternatives available now. Why not use them?

The evidence BPA (bisphenol A) is having toxic effects on humans is becoming more and more solid. Just recently a paper in JAMA found BPA may be associated heart disease and other probelms in humans. Other research has shown possible association with metabolic disorders (one thing I didn't note in the second post is that the two studies reinforce each other with the metabolic findings like diabetes). Furthermore, the FDA's own panel called FDA's okey-dokie/industry-studies-only assessment of BPA flawed and it was announced yesterday that the FDA has called a do-over.

Therefore, it may surprise you to know that there exist (and have existed for a while), FDA-approved alternative coatings as Chemical and Engineering News reports. Why aren't they being used? From the C&EN article it seems that the simple reason that BPA is still being used is that you would have to use different coating for different applications (gasp!) as opposed to the one-toxic-chemical-fits-all approach.

Sigh...

PS Reading the C&EN article, you now have another reason to buy the 'fresh' sauerkraut or make your own.
PPS Can a fermented product be classified as fresh? That doesn't seem right to AT.

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It strikes me that as long as fermentation or culturing is an active process, the products should be considered fresh. The product being fermented/cultured may no longer be "fresh" in the strict sense of the word, but as long as natural biologic processes are contributing to the development of a final product, that product should be considered "fresh." Consider both yeast and sourdough bread cultures, yoghurt cultures, all of the mold and bacterially fermented cheeses, beer/ale, hard cider, etc.

If "good fresh bread" by definition smells of yeast, why should we say any other edible product of fermentation is not fresh?

The evidence BPA (bisphenol A) is having toxic effects on humans is becoming more and more solid. Just recently a paper in JAMA found BPA may be associated heart disease and other probelms in humans.

so you agree with the authors, that because their paper describes a data dredge with no prior hypothesis, and multiple testing, that the association may be a statistical artefact ? You also are correct to use the word "association", since that has nothing to do with BPA "causing" effects.

Seriously, if you are going to get all hyper about evidence like that, why don't you believe every epidemiological paper? One week, coffee causes cancer; the next it doesn't. One week, tea cures heart disease; the next it doesn't. Why don't you get upset over every epidemiology paper published, no matter how bad the evidence ?

yours
per

It's crazy to think that all this time we have been exposed to BPA but until this recent spur in interest over it, it was brushed under the rug. Our lives are consumed by BPA. It is in fillings in our teeth, it lines the metal in our canned foods, and in our plastic food containers. It is scary to know that BPA is found in most baby bottles and sippy cups. There are many new companies coming out with BPA free bottles though. As far as plastic drinking bottles for adults go, Camelbak has always been BPA free and Nalgene and REI are coming out with a BPA-free lines, too.

Thanks for this post, and I agree! I can't access the link to Chemical Engineering News, can you let me know what alternatives they suggest for can coatings? Thanks!

so you agree with the authors, that because their paper describes a data dredge with no prior hypothesis, and multiple testing, that the association may be a statistical artefact ? You also are correct to use the word "association", since that has nothing to do with BPA "causing" effects.

The evidence BPA (bisphenol A) is having toxic effects on humans is becoming more and more solid. Just recently a paper in JAMA found BPA may be associated heart disease and other probelms in humans.

As usual, you have to pay for the C&EN article, so I couldn't read it.

Anyway, I suppose someone should point out that it would be daft to replace a dodgy product with something that seems less nasty, simply because there hasn't been time to study it.

By Chris Lee (not verified) on 26 May 2009 #permalink

t's crazy to think that all this time we have been exposed to BPA but until this recent spur in interest over it, it was brushed under the rug. Our lives are consumed by BPA. It is in fillings in our teeth, it lines the metal in our canned foods, and in our plastic food containers. It is scary to know that BPA is found in most baby bottles and sippy cups. There are many new companies coming out with BPA free bottles though. As far as plastic drinking bottles for adults go, Camelbak has always been BPA free and Nalgene and REI are coming out with a BPA-free lines, too.

It's crazy to think that all this time we have been exposed to BPA but until this recent spur in interest over it, it was brushed under the rug. Our lives are consumed by BPA. It is in fillings in our teeth, it lines the metal in our canned foods, and in our plastic food containers. It is scary to know that BPA is found in most baby bottles and sippy cups. There are many new companies coming out with BPA free bottles though. As far as plastic drinking bottles for adults go, Camelbak has always been BPA free and Nalgene and REI are coming out with a BPA-free lines, too.

Also, technically, pointing out Ms. Szwarc's link to the fast food industry isn't an "ad hominem" argument at all. The proper term would be "guilt by association

so you agree with the authors, that because their paper describes a data dredge with no prior hypothesis, and multiple testing, that the association may be a statistical artefact ? You also are correct to use the word "association", since that has nothing to do with BPA "causing" effects.

You've got bots -- at least responses 3,4,5,11,12, and 13.

"sohpet" and "sohbet" is a bot/Turing test, reusing chunks of text from earlier posts -- don't click the link, the destination has been flagged intermittently as a virus/worm propagator site.

Anybody home? Beware letting your threads become toxic dump sites -- eventually someone will get fooled and click on a bad link.

----

I actually had a serious question; you asked why this stuff is still being used?

Because journalists rely on this stuff to check the evidence:

STATS: We Check Out the Numbers Behind the News
... Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University shows how experts view ... STATS INVESTIGATES
... BPA Conspiracy Theory Dr. S. Robert Lichter
August 27, 2009 ...

http://stats.org/

Check it out.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 30 Aug 2009 #permalink

"stats.org" will also provide you with:

"Science suppressed: How America became obsessed with BPA"

Take a look at the whole school's work.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 30 Aug 2009 #permalink

Ah! Sourcewatch has nailed these people as industry PR:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Statistical_Assessment_Service

"... STATS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organisation but its 2006 annual return to the Internal Revenue Service states that "salary costs for the organization are shared with the Center for Media and Public Affairs. CMPA ... reports the salary costs and files payroll reports under its tax identification number. DCFC is a related organization."[1] (It is not clear what "DCFC" refers to). The report also states that the relationship between STATS and CMPA is one of "common control".[2] Since STATS shares the offices (in the pricey "K Street" lobbying district of Washington) and staff of CMPA, it should be considered as a front, rather than a subsidiary or spin-off.

In 2004, STATS became officially affiliated with George Mason University and displays the university logo at the foot of its webpages.[3] ..."

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 30 Aug 2009 #permalink

Wow. Does anyone at ScienceBlogs have a high enough profile to be a target for this project?

Excerpt:

"The plastics industry has launched a $10 million PR blitz aimed at stopping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from re-evaluating its declaration that a widely-used plastics additive called Bisphenol A (BPA) is safe. ...
... downplaying the risks of the additive, discrediting anyone who portrays the chemical as a health threat, and utilizing Web 2.0 technology, like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube, to plant "Trojan Horse" messages....

... The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel uncovered tobacco industry documents that show the ... tobacco industry was concerned about the BPA issue because cigarette filters and package wrapping contain the additive. The documents also show that FDA scientists tapped chemical industry lobbyists for help drafting public safety standards on BPA."

http://www.prwatch.org/node/8527

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 06 Sep 2009 #permalink

I am new to your blog so you may have addressed this already -- but as someone who is doing research with BPA -- I would like to point out that although there may be "alternatives" to BPA, in 1996 the number of potential endocrine disrupters listed by the EPA reached 85,000. I can only imagine that since then we've added to that list... Just because something is listed as BPA-free that doesn't mean it doesn't have another potentially harmful chemical in it that has yet to be politically labeled a poison...I use glass.

By Evelyn Rose (not verified) on 17 Nov 2009 #permalink

I would say at this point that FDA-approved doesn't mean very much.

By Evelyn Rose (not verified) on 17 Nov 2009 #permalink

I can only imagine that since then we've added to that list... Just because something is listed as BPA-free that doesn't mean it doesn't have another potentially harmful chemical in it that has yet to be politically labeled a poison...I use glass.

It's amazing how the plastic industry is spending millions and perhaps even billions to keep a harmful chemical in their products when they could spend just as much to come up with an alternative. They need to be investigated pronto.

-Charles
HEPA Air Cleaner | Newborn Diapers

By Charles Henrock (not verified) on 20 Dec 2009 #permalink

Also, technically, pointing out Ms. Szwarc's link to the fast food industry isn't an "ad hominem" argument at all. The proper term would be "guilt by association

There are many new companies coming out with BPA free bottles though. As far as plastic drinking bottles for adults go, Camelbak has always been BPA free and Nalgene and REI are coming out with a BPA-free lines, too.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/65160/title/Science_%2B_the_…

Janet Raloff continues to document this at ScienceNews

---excerpt follows---

"Wisconsin-based Appleton Paper produces more than half of the thermal receipt paper sold in North America. In the first week in November, it began incorporating tiny biodegradable red rayon fibers in its stock. Resembling tiny eyelashes, theyâre visible only on the paperâs back, uncoated side.

... Appleton is the only company to make â or sell â BPA-free thermal-receipt paper in North America, these fibers offer consumers a way to identify at a glance which papers wonât shed BPA onto our hands and clothes.

His company eliminated BPA from its thermal-receipts paper four years ago when a blizzard of toxicology studies began pointing to potential health threats posed by the chemical."
--end excerpt---

The plastic industry is spending millions and perhaps even billions to keep a harmful chemical in their products when they could spend just as much to come up with an alternative. They need to be investigated pronto.

It's about time. There are so many studies now. People need to put there foot down and not buy non bpa free stuff. If more people did then we would move alot faster on this issue.