I’ve heard a lot of panic about bisphenol-S (BPS) substitution for bisphenol-A (BPA) in sippy cups and water bottles, because as a new compound, little is known about its safety. A recent study indicates that even though it doesn’t leach as easily, BPS is likely to cause problems similar to BPA by disrupting estrogen.
I’ve been researching the prevalence of BPS in plastic food containers and canned foods for several months and here’s what I’ve found so far:
- While there has been a documented substitution of BPS for BPA in thermal paper and dollar bills, I haven’t found any documented cases of BPS being substituted for BPA in plastic bottles and food storage. Folks seem to be drawing that conclusion from this study.
- There are a couple of newer BPA-free plastics I’m uncomfortable with because the ingredient lists remain undisclosed and not enough validated testing has been done to confirm the lack of estrogenic activity.
- As for BPS in canned foods: this a greater possibility. We were super excited to hear that Campbell’s is phasing out BPA in its metal can linings, but the excitement wore off quickly when they refused to disclose what alternative lining will be used instead. And some of the possible alternatives like PVC and BPS are obviously worrisome.
How to Choose Safer Plastic Dishes and Food Containers
I’ve written about all of this in our free Guide to Researching Safer Plastics ebook, but here’s the basic gist:
- Choose dishes and food containers made from plastics that never contained BPA in the first place, like polypropylene (PP), HDPE/LDPE, and silicone (talking about silicone dishes here, not bakeware). They have a much better long-term track record than any other plastics and haven’t been recently switched to BPA-free materials.
- Only purchase canned and jarred food from companies who make it clear what their BPA-free lining is made from. Bionaturae and its sister company, Jovial, are fantastic examples of companies with a conscience who use truly responsible food packaging.
- Don’t even bother with products made by secretive manufacturers with mystery chemicals they refuse to disclose.
As my friend Beth of My Plastic Free Life points out, this process of trying to determine what chemicals a product already contains – and whether those chemicals are toxic – is COMPLETELY backwards!
The safest solution is to avoid newer plastics and stick with stainless steel or glass whenever you can.
In the meantime, I’ll continue watching for new research and will keep you updated!
P.S. Check out our Safer Food Storage Shopping Guide for plenty of great options.