An article published on July 13, 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE reported on the use of cell-based (in vitro) models to screen a panel of potential bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) replacements. BPA, a chemical used in food can coatings and polycarbonate plastics, is a recognized human endocrine disruptor (FPF reported), largely due to its estrogenic properties, but also a variety of other potential hormonal actions (e.g. anti-androgenicity (FPF reported) or interference with thyroid system (FPF reported)).

Adam Szafran and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, U.S., applied a previously established “multi-parametric, high throughput microscopy-based platform” to study the estrogen-like and androgen-like properties of several substituted bisphenol derivatives. They found evidence of anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity of tetramethyl bisphenol F (TMBPF, also called 4,4’-methylenebis(2,6-dimethylphenol), CAS 5384-21-4 ) and bis(p-hydroxybenzoic acid)cyclohexane-1,4-diylbismethylene ester (also called CHDM 4-hydroxybuyl acrylate, no CAS available), but not of their derivatives. Another recent study also found that TMBPF lacks estrogenic activity (FPF reported), but did not test for other effects reported here.

On the other hand, tetramethyl bisphenol F epoxy resin (TMBPF-ER, CAS 113693-69-9), tetramethyl bisphenol F diglycidyl ether (TMBPF-DGE, CAS 93705-66-9), and Bisguaiacol F (CAS 3888-22-0) demonstrated “low potential for affecting estrogenic and androgenic endocrine activity.” Worth noting, both TMBPF derivatives showed an anti-estrogenic activity at 5 µM, but a significant cell toxicity was also observed at this concentration, suggesting that the observed response was due to non-specific cell toxicity and not a specific activity at the estrogen receptor. In conclusion, the authors suggested that all three of these compounds “could be suitable commercially viable alternatives to BPA.” However, according to an article published on July 14, 2017 in ScienceDaily, the study’s senior author Michael Mancini said that, although these compounds passed the testing performed in this study, “it doesn’t mean that they are completely free of effects,” hence they “would need further testing in animal studies.”

Read more

Science Daily (July 14, 2017). “Potentially safer substitutes for BPA identified.

EurekAlert! (July 14, 2017). “Researchers identify potentially safer substitutes for BPA.


Szafran, A., et al. (2017). “Characterizing properties of non-estrogenic substituted bisphenol analogs using high throughput microscopy and image analysis.PLoS ONE (published July 13, 2017).