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Your Environment. Your Health.

Potentially Safer Alternatives to BPA Identified

Michael Mancini, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
R01ES023206, P30ES023512

NIEHS-funded researchers and colleagues have identified a group of potential substitutes for bisphenol A (BPA). These compounds demonstrate low potential for affecting estrogenic or androgenic endocrine activity, which means they are less likely to disrupt hormones produced by the body.

Previous studies indicated that BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical, which has garnered attention because of the widespread use of BPA in consumer products. Health and environmental concerns about the safety of BPA have led to a search for materials without similar effects on endocrine activity.

The researchers screened BPA substitute candidates for their ability to bind to hormone receptors and trigger activity. They used a novel automated approach that included taking tens of thousands of images of cells exposed to the chemicals and analyzing more than 10 billion data points. With a comprehensive picture of what occurred inside and on the surface of the cells, the researchers were able to assess effects of the compounds in hours, instead of the days or weeks usually required for standard toxicology analyses.

In this study, bisguaiacol F, tetramethyl bisphenol F epoxy resin, and tetramethyl bisphenol F diglycidyl ether demonstrated low potential for affecting estrogenic or androgenic endocrine activity. Although further research is needed to assess other potential effects of these compounds, the authors suggest that they could be potentially viable alternatives to BPA.

Citation: Szafran AT, Stossi F, Mancini MG, Walker CL, Mancini MA. 2017. Characterizing properties of non-estrogenic substituted bisphenol analogs using high throughput microscopy and image analysis. PLoS One 12(7):e0180141.

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