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June 2019: Recent studies show BPS in baby bottles has similar damaging hormone effects to BPA.
When scientists discovered that the chemical BPA caused disruptions to the human endocrine system, suppliers of plastic baby bottles and other plastic products rushed to find a replacement. Their solution: BPS. However, it turns out that this ‘safer’ alternative may have exactly the same damaging effects to a babys hormones as its predecessor.
So what is BPS?
Bisphenol S (BPS) is a replacement for Bisphenol A (BPA). This is a common ingredient in polycarbonate plastics that is now a banned material in Australia for baby bottles. Studies have found that once in the body, BPA interacts or plays tricks on the body’s hormones and imitates their actions. This interaction with a young childs hormones can cause certain cancers, heart problems, behaviour problems, type 2 diabetes, autism, asthma and obesity. A public outcry about BPA resulted in the banning of its use in baby products such as baby bottles and sippy cups and replaced with BPS.
Unfortunately, recent research has found that this replacement chemical may be just as bad.
How does BPS affect my baby?
A National Geographic article published in September 2018 even goes as far as questioning ‘BPA free’ labelling and directly mentions the similarities with BPS. There is still controversy about how much damage the hormone disruption causes. But experts generally agree that the younger or smaller the child, the more at risk they are. Absorption rates in small babies and children are much faster than in adults, and this includes unborn babies.
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So how can I avoid BPS?
BPA has been banned in baby products since 2012, but the same cannot yet be said for BPS. To stay on the safe side, here are a few tips to avoid BPS:
- The first may be obvious, but look for chemical free products – Cherub Baby is the first Australian baby product brand which is 100% BPS free – our reusable food pouches and Glass Baby Bottles, Sippy and Straw Cups are BPS, Phthalate and PVC Free;
- Do not heat food in a microwave using a plastic container. Heat can cause an increase in chemical leaks;
- Do not put plastic containers in a dishwasher. The temperature can cause the plastic to melt which again can increase chemical leaks;
- Avoid tinned food, the lining contains plastic – use fresh or frozen instead;
- Avoid damaged and old plastic containers;
- Try and use plastic alternatives like glass and stainless steel which are easy to clean or sterilize.