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Are BPA-free plastics still a health concern?

Study finds BPA-free products releasing estrogenic activity

GEORGETOWN, TEXAS—Some plastic products that are listed as “BPA-free” are still leaching potentially harmful estrogenic activity, according to a recent study in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study was conducted by researchers from Georgetown University, CertiChem, a chemical testing company, and PlastiPure, a technology firm that makes EA-free plastic materials and products.

Estrogenic activity (EA) can harm fetuses and juvenile mammals.

Researchers measured the EA of chemicals leached into saline or ethanol extracts of plastic materials, some of which were exposed to common-use stresses such as microwaving and UV radiation.

Regardless of the type of resin, product, or retail source, almost all commercially available plastic products released EA.

And in some cases, BPA-free items released even more EA than products that weren’t advertised as being BPA-free.

The study concluded that many plastic products are mischaracterized as being EA-free, when actually, common-use stresses or manufacturing processes can transform EA-free chemicals into chemicals having EA.