Is BPA-Free Plastic Still Toxic?

Is BPA-free plastic safe to use? BPA alternatives can still harm the body, much like BPA does...or even worse!

We know you want to make smart, healthy choices about what products you use every day.

There's a lot of talk about the dangers of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in many products. BPA can affect your health, possibly leading to effects on hormones, as well as an increased risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart issues [1]. Because of these concerns, many people are looking for products labeled as "BPA-free." However, finding safer alternatives can be tricky, as some BPA-free options might not be better for you. In some instances, they may even contain chemicals that are more harmful than BPA! So, how can you be sure that the products you're choosing are truly safe and BPA-free? Let’s take a closer look! 

What Is BPA and Why Is It Bad?

Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a human-made chemical. When BPA molecules are linked together, it makes a strong, hard plastic.. 


BPA is commonly found in these items: 

  • Water bottles
  • Food containers
  • Can linings
  • Dental sealants
  • Thermal receipts (as unlinked molecules)
  • Clothing (polyester and spandex)

We come into contact with BPA in many ways. We can absorb BPA through our skin by handling receipts or wearing clothes made with it. BPA used in water bottles, food packaging, and can liners can contaminate foods/drinks that we then ingest. Lastly, we can inhale BPA, as it’s a common chemical found in household dust. 

These are just a few examples of where BPA's presence has become commonplace, silently integrating itself into our daily routines and the very fabric of our homes. The invention of BPA was a big deal for the manufacturing industry because it meant things could last longer and be used in different ways, making our daily lives easier...supposedly. However, it's important to focus on the fact that while BPA did improve product durability and versatility, concerns have grown about its safety.

The concern stems from BPA's role as an endocrine disruptor, capable of mimicking estrogen and disturbing the natural balance of the body's hormonal systems [2]. This disruption has been linked to a spectrum of health issues, ranging from reproductive challenges to heightened risks of certain cancers, heart diseases, and developmental problems in young children [3].

Acknowledging these risks has encouraged a crucial conversation about the safety of BPA, with a movement toward BPA-free alternatives. However, BPA-free plastic may not be the answer to the BPA problem. It may even create a whole new world of problems. Here’s why!

What Is BPA-Free Plastic?

The move towards BPA-free plastics was driven by growing health concerns associated with BPA exposure, leading manufacturers to seek alternatives. The label "BPA-free" is intended to assure customers that the products they are purchasing do not carry the risks associated with BPA.

While this sounds ideal, “BPA-free” is more of a technicality than a benefit. BPA-free plastic refers to any type of plastic that does not contain the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) in its composition. However, it's important to understand that BPA-free does not necessarily mean a product is free from all bisphenols or other potentially harmful chemicals. 

To replace BPA, manufacturers often use other types of bisphenols, such as Bisphenol-S (BPS) or Bisphenol-F (BPF). BPF and BPS have similar properties to BPA and allow the plastic to retain its strength and clarity. These substitutes are made through similar chemical processes, where the bisphenol compounds are polymerized to create a sturdy, durable plastic. 

Is BPA-Free Plastic Safe?

Seeing "BPA-free" on a product label might seem reassuring, but it doesn't necessarily mean the product is free from all health risks. As we mentioned, alternatives to BPA, such as Bisphenol-S (BPS) and Bisphenol-F (BPF), are chemically similar to BPA. 

This similarity is crucial because the body's hormones operate through a lock-and-key mechanism, where only the right key (hormone) can unlock specific bodily functions. Bisphenols, including BPA, BPS, and BPF, mimic estrogen (a type of hormone), effectively tricking the body's hormonal locks and potentially disrupting normal endocrine functions [4]. 

Since BPA and its alternatives are chemically similar, they can have similar adverse effects on the body. Studies suggest that BPF and BPS are not just endocrine disruptors but may, in fact, pose even greater risks than BPA in animals [5]. This means that while a product labeled as "BPA-free" might lack BPA specifically, its replacements could still impact the body's hormonal balance and overall health negatively.

How to Find Products That Are BPA-Free

Finding products that are truly BPA-free—and free from other bisphenols—requires a bit of diligence and awareness. Don’t fall victim to greenwashing. This is a practice where companies mislead consumers about the environmental or health benefits of their products. Shop Million Marker Approved Products to ensure you are using bisphenol-free products. When shopping outside of our recommended products, here’s how you can more confidently select genuinely safer options:

Read Labels Carefully

Don’t just look for products explicitly labeled as “BPA-free.” Instead, they should say “Bisphenol-free.” Go a step further by researching the brand or contacting manufacturers to ask if they use any bisphenol alternatives, like BPS or BPF, in their products. 

Research Brands Committed to Safety

A brand that doesn’t act transparent is easy to see through. Seek out brands that are transparent about their materials and committed to using safer alternatives. Many companies are now promoting products made with materials known for their safety and sustainability, such as glass, stainless steel, and platinum-grade silicone. 

Beware of Greenwashing

Companies may use terms like “eco-friendly” or “natural” without substantive backing. Verify claims by looking for certifications or specific details about why a product is environmentally friendly or healthier. Certifications from third-party organizations can provide a level of assurance about a product's claims.

By adopting these practices, you can make more informed choices about the products you bring into your home, ensuring they align with your health and safety standards without falling prey to misleading marketing.

Can I Test My Body for BPA?

Understanding your exposure to substances like BPA and its alternatives (such as BPF and BPS) is crucial, especially when you're trying to make healthier choices amidst all the greenwashing out there. 

Thankfully, Million Marker's Detect & Detox Test Kit offers a user-friendly solution for determining how much exposure to these chemicals has occurred. All it takes is a simple urine test, and Million Marker does the rest. 

We analyze your sample and provide you with a clear report that not only tells you about your bisphenol levels but also offers easy-to-follow advice on how to lower your exposure.

It's empowering to have such specific, actionable guidance because it cuts through the confusion and helps you make better decisions for your health. With this kind of insight, you can confidently choose products and adopt habits that reduce your chemical exposure, making a positive impact on your well-being. It’s a practical and effective way to take charge of your health and shield yourself from hidden dangers in common products.