Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor) Feb 19 2020
Using "BPA-free" plastic products could be as harmful to human health -- including a developing brain -- as those products that contain the controversial chemical, suggest scientists in a new study led by the University of Missouri and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
For decades, scientists have studied BPA extensively in animal models with results indicating the chemical plays a role in early pregnancy loss, placental diseases and various negative health outcomes after birth. As these adverse health effects have become more widely known, companies have turned to using alternative chemicals to develop plastic products -- namely water bottles and food containers -- and often labeling them "BPA-free." However, MU scientist Cheryl Rosenfeld warns these chemical alternatives, such as bisphenol S (BPS), still aren't safe for people to use.
In the study, Rosenfeld and her colleagues focused on examining the effects of BPS on a mouse's placenta. She said the placenta serves as a historical record of what an unborn child faces while in the womb; the placenta also can transfer whatever the mother might be exposed to in her blood, such as harmful chemicals, into the developing child.
Synthetic chemicals like BPS can penetrate through the maternal placenta, so whatever is circulating in the mother's blood can easily be transferred to the developing child. This mouse model is the best model we have now to simulate the possible effects of BPS during human pregnancy, because the placenta has a similar structure in both mice and humans." Cheryl Rosenfeld, professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center, and research faculty member for the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurobehavioral Disorders at MU Related Stories
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