After a growing body of research identified hormone-mimicking effects from BPA — a compound found in some plastics, dental sealants and cash register receipts — consumers began reaching for BPA-free products. But there is now evidence that at least one of the chemical substitutes, bisphenol S, can enter the body and trigger developmental and physiological changes.
A study published this year found that BPS can boost heart rates and lead to heart-rate variability in rats. Another reported altered brain development and behavior in fish (SN: 4/4/15, p. 10).
The effects in humans are unclear, but store cashiers who handled receipt paper at work excreted more BPS in their urine after a shift. Researchers also detected the structurally similar compound BPSIP in the blood of cashiers who handled receipts with and without BPSIP and in the urine of some people who don’t work as cashiers, suggesting another widespread source (SN: 10/3/15, p. 12).