In an article published on February 1, 2016 the news provider Science Daily reports on a new study investigating the effects of bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and bisphenol S (BPS, CAS 80-09-1) on embryonic development of zebrafish. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Endocrinology and conducted by researchers Wenhui Qiu and colleagues from Shanghai University, China, and the University of California, Los Angeles, U.S. The researcher exposed zebrafish embryos to environmentally relevant, low levels of BPA and BPS. They observed advanced hatching time, increased numbers of brain cells controlling puberty and fertility (reproductive endocrine neurons), and increased expression of reproduction-related genes. Further, antagonists of estrogen receptor (ER), thyroid hormone receptor (THR), and enzyme aromatase (AROM) blocked many of the effects of BPA and BPS on reproduction-related gene expression. This provides evidence that ER, THR, and AROM pathways mediate actions of BPA and BPS on the reproductive neuroendocrine system. Qiu and colleagues conclude that BPS is not necessarily safer than BPA, for which it is used as an alternative. According to the researchers, BPA and BPS are likely to also affect human health and prenatal exposure could lead to premature birth, premature puberty and disruption of the reproductive system.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) commented on the study in a news release stating: “The relevance for human health of this limited study on zebrafish is unclear. The findings of the study do not demonstrate that low levels of BPA have any effects on human health, as suggested by the authors.”
Science Daily (February 1, 2016). “‘BPA-free’ plastic accelerates embryonic development, disrupts reproductive system.”
ACC (February 1, 2016). “Study on zebrafish, BPA and BPA substitute has limited relevance to human health.”
Sandee LaMotte (February 1, 2016). “BPA-free plastic alternatives may not be safe as you think.” CNN
Rebecca Trager (February 11, 2016). “Doubts raised about key BPA substitute.” ChemistryWorld
Qiu, W. et al. (2015). “Actions of bisphenol A and bisphenol S on the reproductive neuroendocrine system during early development in zebrafish.” Endocrinology (published online December 10, 2015).