You remember back in 2010 when you threw out all that hard plastic because the FDA said it was loaded with Bisphenol A (BPA) and you didn’t really want your family exposed to a well-known endocrine-disrupting chemical that could cause reproductive defects in fetuses, infants and children? And how much better you felt once you knew the baby’s milk bottle and your partner’s Soul Cycle water bottle and whatever you’re microwaving your dinner in used Biphenol S (BPS) instead? Well, get ready to throw out all that stuff all over again.
A study reported in the journal Endocrinology examines the effects of both BPA and BPS on the cells in the brain and the genes that control the growth and function of organs involved in reproduction. So, like, your nuts. The researchers found that when zebrafish embryos (What? You want them to test human embryos?) were exposed to low levels of the two bisphenol chemicals, their physiology changed in as little as 25 hours, which led to rapid egg development and premature birth. Not only that, but the brain cells involved in the control of puberty and fertility showed a 40-percent increase in the growth of endocrine neurons, which basically means their reproductive systems went into overdrive, which is not at all the same thing as being horny.
Since the endocrine system is all the glands that secrete hormones directly into your bloodstream (again, your nuts), it controls everything from fear to pubic hair growth to man boobs. By disrupting its incredibly important work, BPA and BPS may be contributing to the rise of premature births and early onset of puberty in kids over the past couple of decades. But don’t worry! In 2014, the FDA reversed its previous position; they now suggest that BPA is safe at the current levels it occurs in foods. If that’s enough to make you comfortable, go ahead and replace all that BPS plastic with the BPA stuff you threw out the first time around.
If you’d rather just avoid BPeverything … good luck. The stuff is everywhere from contact lenses to the lining of canned goods, but there are a few very simple things you can do to limit exposure. First, store and cook your kid’s food in glass or metal, and serve their meals on silicone plates instead of plastic ones. And start bringing rubber gloves to the grocery store. Cash register receipts use massive amounts of the stuff, in a way that leeches directly into your skin. And if some guy asks what the hell you’re so worried about, look him straight in the eye and say, “Man boobs.”