'BPA-free' label may not mean your water is any safer

After health concerns prompted a ban on the chemical BPA from our baby bottles, companies have touted the redesigned baby bottles and water bottles as BPA-free. Unfortunately, that label doesn't mean we're in the clear, according to recent studies noted at Scientific American.

Bottle makers "put 'BPA-free' on the label, which is true. The thing they neglected to tell you is that what they've substituted for BPA has not been tested for the same kinds of problems that BPA has been shown to cause," says a researcher from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Adds another from the University of Calgary: "We're paying a premium for a 'safer' product that isn't even safer." Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been replaced with bisphenol S, or BPS, which experts believed wouldn't leak into our drinks as much as BPA did.

But it turns out that BPS can be detected in the urine of almost 81% of Americans. And research is suggesting that BPS works a lot like BPA in the body.

One study found that a minuscule amount of the stuff messes with a cell in ways that could lead to diabetes, asthma, or cancer. Another, via Popular Science, suggests BPS "mimics" estrogen as well as BPA does—and that could lead to sexual development issues.

What we need, says a researcher, is a federal agency to ensure new materials are safe. (If you didn't have enough reasons to avoid it, BPA has also been linked to miscarriage.)

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