In an article published on December 22, 2016 in the peer-reviewed journal Endocrinology, Mary Catanese and Laura Vandenberg from the School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, U.S., report on striking effects exerted by low doses of bisphenol S (BPS, CAS 80-09-1) on the behavior and brain of pregnant and lactating mice, and also their female offspring.

Mice were dosed daily with 2 or 200 µg/kg/day of BPS from pregnancy day 9 to lactation day 20. The lower dose is close to human exposures, and both doses are well below the toxicological no-observed-adverse-effect-level of 10 mg/kg/day. Mother mice, but also their daughters mated with unexposed males, showed poor maternal care for their young, accompanied by subtle changes in certain brain regions. The behavioral effects were particularly striking at the lower dose. As cited in an article published on December 22, 2016 by scientific news provider Science Daily, the authors report that “more than 10 percent of females exposed to 2 µg BPS/kg/day either killed their pups or provided such poor instrumental maternal care that one or more pups needed to be euthanized. While not statistically significant, the neglect and poor maternal care we observed were striking.” At higher dose, the observed effects demonstrated a decrease in the ability of mothers to adapt to the changing needs of their growing offspring.

Catanese and Vandenberg concluded that “uncovering effects of environmental chemicals that might influence proper maternal care have broad social and public health implications,” particularly because the offspring survival tightly depends on the maternal behavior.

Despite its demonstrated hormonal activity (FPF reported), BPS is increasingly used as a replacement for bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), a reprotoxic substance of very high concern (FPF reported). It is found in various plastics, including baby bottles.

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Science Daily (December 22, 2016). “Plastics compound, BPS, often substituted for BPA, alters mouse moms’ behavior and brain regions.


Catanese, M. and Vandenberg, L. (2016). “Bisphenol S (BPS) alters maternal behavior and brain in mice exposed during pregnancy/lactation and their daughters.Endocrinology (published December 22, 2016).