BPA-free products may hurt heart function within minutes of exposure

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Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in plastic products, can be found in plastics used for food packaging, including liners for metal cans and other containers, as well as in medical devices such as hospital intravenous lines and dental sealants.

It was banned from baby bottles in Canada in 2010 over concerns that it may leach into foods and cause hormone-related side effects.

More manufacturers are now using BPS as a replacement in their products and labeling them as BPA-free.

In a recent study from the University of Guelph, researchers found that common BPA replacement, bisphenol S (BPS), can hinder heart function within minutes of a single exposure.

This is the first study to show the instant effects BPS can have on the heart.

The study is published in Scientific Reports. The lead author is biomedical sciences professor Glen Pyle.

In the study, the team treated mouse hearts with BPA and BPS at levels typically seen in people.

found when mice were given bisphenol BPA or BPS in amounts that mimicked typical human levels, their heart function worsened, especially in females.

Each chemical on its own was found to depress heart function by dampening heart contractions causing slower blood flow.

However, BPS had a quicker impact—within five minutes of exposure.

The team expected to find similar effects from BPS as we have with BPA, but not at the speed that it worked. This replacement chemical seems to be more potent.

These findings are concerning, as endocrine receptors and metabolic pathways are similar in mice and humans.

This study raises concerns about the safety of BPS as a replacement for BPA.

It is particularly worrisome for people with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity because the effects of BPS could increase the chance of a heart attack or make a heart attack more severe.

The team advocates banning the substitute chemical BPS from such consumer products as food and beverage packaging, toys and thermal paper receipts.

They also suggest consumers reduce plastic use, including single-use plastics.

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