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Study: Replacements for BPA in BPA-free Products Just as Toxic – Time for Non-toxic Hemp Plastics?

bpa free rubber stamp with words still toxic image

by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

BPA or Bisphenol A is a type of synthetically produced plastic derived from processing natural hydrocarbon fuels such as coal and crude oil. It’s often used for making polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins [1] to coat the inner linings of metal food containers. 

BPA is a synthetic endocrine disruptor [2] capable of creating hormonal imbalances by mimicking or partially mimicking hormones, especially estrogen, that can lead to certain cancers, neurological disorders, compromised immune systems, and cause fertility and gender issues with women and men. 

It was chemically created in the late 1800s but not used commercially until the plastic industry began using it during the 1950s. 

Concerns among health-conscious people have motivated food processors to claim their containers are “BPA free”.

But BPA substitutes, such as BPS and other bisphenol compounds are not mentioned when food and beverage processors make their BPA free claims. 

Scientists outside the plastics industry are raising concerns that BPS and other related biphenol compounds create the same hormonal issues as BPA.

Recent Study Supports BPS Dangers

This most recent mouse study report, Replacement Bisphenols Adversely Affect Mouse Gametogenesis [3] with Consequences for Subsequent Generations, was published September 13th, 2018, by the journal Current Biology with the following highlights:

From the study summary:

Although “BPA free” is a valuable marketing tool, and most consumers interpret this label as an indication of a safer product, our findings add to growing evidence from studies [several referenced by number] that replacement bisphenols have the potential to induce adverse effects similar to those reported for BPA. Meiosis [4] is both a sensitive indicator of environmental contamination and … an evolutionary driver.

Importantly, meiotic effects of bisphenol exposure are clearly not limited to mice.

…bisphenols as a class should be considered germline [5] toxicants. (Full study text [6])

In other words, all these biphenol variants, such as BPS and others that allow industries to claim their products are BPA free are just as harmful as the BPA they replace. It’s the typical slight of hand used to deceive consumers by data omission because listing the contents of food and beverage containers is not required.

The study also mentions by observing and analyzing a few generations of mice under controlled conditions that biphenol exposure toxicities continue with their offspring and throughout subsequent generations.

Meiotic recombination is quantitative, making it a powerful means of tracing exposure effects across generations. Our previous studies suggest that meiotic effects induced by neonatal estrogenic exposure in male mice are transmitted to offspring, and exposure effects intensify with successive generations of exposure.

Only the very few most health-conscious food providers do not use biphenol analogs or variants to replace BPA. It’s recommended that one contact the food provider that makes a BPA free claim and ask if BPS or any other biphenol was used instead.

Avoiding Biphenols Requires Consumer Diligence

The FDA concluded that BPA posed no risk to human health based on two industry-funded studies. Meanwhile, the 100 peer-reviewed studies that found evidence of harm were ignored.

Therefore, BPA, BPS, other petroleum-based biphenol variants or analogs are ubiquitous, affecting personal health and environmental issues worldwide. It’s been estimated that well over 80 percent of American and UK resident test-subjects have detectable BPA, or its variant analog [7] cousin BPS, in their urine.

You can join the petition to challenge the FDA’s approval of BPA-BPS here. [8]


Study: FDA’s “Safe Limits” for BPA Not So Safe [9]

Not all plastics are polycarbonates with measurable BPA or BPS. For your discernment, there are recycle code numbers stamped within triangulating arrows on the bottoms of plastic bottles and containers. The numbers 3 and 7 usually indicate BPA content. For a complete disclosure of these recycling codes, go here [10]. 


BPA-Free, but Not Toxic-Free [11]

Even ‘BPA-Free’ Plastics Leach Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals [12]

Recycling and Incinerating Plastic Waste Woefully Insufficient to Increasing Plastic Production

The same toxins that choke our endocrine systems are choking our oceans, and landfills are overflowing with discarded plastic items. And recycling is not keeping up with this issue. Under one percent increased recycling rates between 1990 and 2014 aren’t enough to keep pace with increased petroleum-based plastic production.

According to the research article Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made published 19 July 2017 by ScienceAdvances:

As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt [metric tons] of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment [waterways, lakes, oceans].

If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050. (Source [13])

Regarding the aforementioned “natural environment,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) long-term studies have determined that approximately 80 percent of the plastic in the ocean comes from land sources, such as plastic manufacturing plants, via inland waterways and smaller coastal seas, while 20 percent comes from ships at sea.

The majority of the plastic in the world’s oceans is made up of billions of pounds of raw petrochemical plastic pellets called nurdles [14], resin pellets used for plastics manufacturing and waste byproducts of the manufacturing process. (Source) [15]

Biodegradable BPA Free Hemp Based Plastics May Eventually Replace Petroleum-Based Plastic 

Cannabis and Hemp Gaining Legal Acceptance More Rapidly This Year [16]

Using hemp to create biodegradable plastic products would decrease this major environmental issue as well as preserve the genetic integrity of future animal and human generations in addition to avoiding adverse health among the current generation.   

In 1941, Henry Ford built and tested his “vegetable car” prototype’s body made from hemp and other plant fibers. Its body was very durable, and it ran on bio-diesel fuel that doesn’t pollute nearly as much as petrochemical fuels. His intent was to promote hemp agriculture and help farmers benefit financially. (Source) [17]

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” — Henry Ford (Source) [18]

Today many types of plastic can be made from hemp [19], often mixed with other biodegradable plant fibers such as flax. These plastics are biodegradable, non-toxic, and strong. It’s not stronger than steel, as some suggest. But it’s stronger and lighter than fiberglass and less toxic to work with. (Source) [20]

Although hemp fibers are stronger than any other plant fibers, other plant fibers are involved for producing hemp plastics to make plastic injection molding possible, the way most other petroleum-based plastics are made. 

The automobile industry in both Canada and France have made moves toward using hemp plastics for automobile parts. Canada even built a small car prototype using hemp for the whole body, as Henry Ford did. (Source [20])

A few years ago, PSA, the French manufacturer of Peugeot and Citroen motor vehicles, began using hemp for interior auto parts [21].

Until recently, these isolated minor hemp plastic intrusions turned into large-scale production seemed too weak for any impetus to make a difference with the current plastic waste crisis, not to mention the animal and human health issues. 

The cost of production compared to an insufficient demand dampened biofiber and hemp plastic production. But a breakthrough with increased commercial applications of hemp plastic was made almost accidentally by Alaskan industrial hemp product entrepreneur Keven Tubbs of Best Practices Packaging (BPP [22]). 

Tubbs was concerned about getting enough hemp plastic for containers to carry his nutritional hemp products when he discovered that leftover hemp from nutritional hemp producers, including his own BPP and those who produce nutritional hemp for livestock, could be used to create hemp plastic.

BPP is working with USA based Penta5 [23] and Noble Polymers [24] to expand hemp plastic packaging production. BPP provides the unused industrial nutritional hemp that Noble Polymers uses to create various hemp compound resin pellet “nurdles” that Penta5 uses to manufacture packaging and other plastic products. 

This vertically-stacked arrangement to meet BPP’s original nutritional hemp packaging demands is poised to expand into several other commercial hemp plastic uses, which inevitably reduces overhead costs capable of inviting other industries to replace petrochemical plastics with hemp plastics, “opening the door to Fortune 500 sized users for the first time,” according to Tubbs. 

BPP’s Kevin Tubbs stated in a January 2018 Hemp Today interview [25]: 

We are prepared to commercialize it, offer a range of properties and blends as the market demands, and open this special bioplastic up to a world of new users [beyond packaging nutritional hemp products]. 

We’re commercializing hemp bioplastic for the first time in North American history. We can produce virtually whatever the market demands.

And all of our products are from North American hemp sources only. This is a specific sales feature for our North American bioplastic consumers.

Another encouraging situation is that Canada may soon no longer be the sole source of industrial hemp in North America. The USA is on the verge of creating its own industrial cannabis agricultural base after decades of suppression.


Cannabis Legal Updates: Legalization of Industrial Hemp Passes Senate [26]