From Dr. Mercola:
The term “chemical safety” is an oxymoron of epic proportions, especially when it comes to the use in consumer products. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a classic example.
Exposure to this chemical — used widely in plastic products, canned goods and more — in utero has been linked to altered brain function and organ development. In adults, exposure may lead to cancer, high blood pressure, obesity and sperm damage.
Only after many years, and a plethora of published research showing its toxic effects, did some manufacturers begin to remove BPA from their products. Some governments also took action, such as that of France, which banned its use in food packaging, and the European Union, which banned it from baby bottles.
You can now find many plastic products available in BPA-free form, which seems like a victory for safety. That is, until you understand that this is nothing more than a bait-and-switch. Most BPA-free plastics contain another chemical, bisphenol S (BPS), in BPA’s place.
As its name implies, it’s very similar to BPA and, by some measures, may be even more toxic. There’s not enough research on BPS to know the extent of its risks, and companies are banking on it taking years before people get wind of BPS’ toxicity.
In the meantime, they’re laughing all the way to the bank with their profits from premium-priced BPA-free goods.
Why Chemical Bans Are Ineffective
Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., co-founder and executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, revealed many of the chemical-safety failures plaguing the U.S.1 Among them are the often-misunderstood realities surrounding chemical bans.
From 1945 to 2007, U.S. chemical production increased 15-fold. Over the years, once “standard” chemicals have been pulled from the market after health concerns were revealed. Some of the chemicals were even banned from the market.
Why does this ultimately do no good? Because the banned chemicals were, of course, quickly replaced with other chemicals that were supposedly safer, but which too often turn out to be toxic. Latham reported:
“The substitution of one synthetic chemical for another, wherein the substitute later turns out to be hazardous, is not a new story.
Indeed, a great many of the chemicals that environmental campaigners nowadays oppose (such as Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup) are still considered by many in their industries to be ‘newer’ and ‘safer’ substitutes for chemicals (such as 2,4,5-T) that are no longer widely used.
Thus, when the EU banned the herbicide atrazine, Syngenta replaced it with terbuthylazine. Terbuthylazine is chemically very similar and appears to have similar ecological and health effects.
The chemical diacetyl was forced off the market for causing ‘popcorn lung.’ However, it has been largely replaced by dimers and trimers of the same chemical. Unfortunately, the safety of these multimers is highly dubious since it is believed that, in use, they break down into diacetyl.”
Rarely Discussed Limits to Chemical-Safety Testing
Very few chemicals on the market are tested for safety, but even those that are,