(NaturalNews) Growing awareness about the prolific presence of the hormone disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics, receipt paper, money, and various other consumer products and materials has led to the widespread removal of this highly toxic chemical from many products in recent years. But bisphenol S (BPS), the chemical now being used in place of BPA in many "BPA-free" products, may be just as harmful -- if not more harmful -- than BPA.
A new study published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology is the first to analyze the presence of BPS in consumer products, and particularly in both thermal and recycled paper products. According to Kurunthachalam Kannan and colleagues who conducted the study, BPS is similar to BPA in that it mimics estrogen, and can cause severe endocrine disruption as a result of repeated exposure.
For their study, which was funded in part by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Department of Science and Technology of Shandong Province, Kannan and the team tested 16 different types of paper and paper products, including thermal receipt paper, paper currencies, flyers, magazines, newspapers, food contact papers, airplane luggage tags, printing paper, paper towels, and toilet papers.
They found that every single tested sample of thermal receipt paper, which is used by most retailers nowadays to print purchase receipts, tested positive for BPS at concentrations ranging from 0.0000138 milligrams per gram (mg/g) to 22.0 mg/g. This is roughly the same range level that has been observed in thermal receipt paper for BPA in earlier studies.
BPS is up to 19 times more absorbable in the skin than BPA
The research team also found that 87 percent of currency bill samples, which were collected from 21 different countries, contained BPS in varying levels. BPS was also observed in 14 of the other paper products sampled as well, including in 52 percent of recycled paper samples tested, which indicates that this largely unknown chemical is quietly hiding in all sorts of paper products that millions of people are exposed to every single day.
Perhaps the most disturbing finding about BPS; however, is the fact that BPS absorbs into the skin at much higher rates than BPA. According to the study, BPS is capable of absorbing at a rate up to 1900 percent higher than BPA, which makes it potentially much more harmful than BPA at altering hormone levels.
According to a 2005 study out of Japan, BPS is only slightly less potent than BPA at mimicking the female hormone estrogen in the body. However, other studies have shown that BPS is far less biodegradable than BPA, and is actually the most persistent bisphenol compound among eight of the most common bisphenol compounds tested. (http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org)