Research press release


Nature Communications

Toxicology: Assessing the health impacts of 'BPA-free' plastics



今回、Jianying Huの研究チームは、市販のプラスチック製の飲料用ボトル(哺乳瓶を含む)に充填された熱湯からBPAの代替物質であるBHPFが検出されたことを報告している。そして培養細胞と10匹のマウスを用いてBHPFの検査を行ったところ、BHPFに抗エストロゲン活性(エストロゲンの作用を阻害する活性)が認められ、マウスの子宮の重量や仔の体重も軽くなり、一部のマウスは流産した。また、今回の研究では、習慣的にプラスチックボトル入りの飲料水を飲む中国人学生100人のうち7人の血液から微量のBHPFが検出された。ただし、これらの飲料用ボトルについてBHPFの検査を行っていないため、これらの被験者のBHPF濃度が高くなった過程は解明できていない。


A chemical called BHPF, used in production of some ‘BPA-free’ plastics, may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes in mice, a study in Nature Communications indicates. The research also suggests that BHPF (fluorene-9-bisphenol) found in commercial water bottles may be transferred into the drinking water. However, this study does not provide evidence that BHFP has negative effects on human health, as tests were undertaken only in mice.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a plastic softener, widely used in the production of plastics used for food and water packaging. However, it has been shown to leak into food and to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen, so it is being replaced by alternative compounds that do not have estrogenic activity.

Jianying Hu and colleagues report that BHPF, a substitute for BPA, can be detected in hot water used to fill commercially available plastic drinking bottles, including baby bottles. Tests on cultured cells and in 10 mice showed that BHPF is anti-estrogenic (it blocks the effects of estrogen), and causes low uterine weight, low pup weight, and in some cases, failed pregnancies in mice. They also detected traces of BHPF in the blood of seven out of 100 Chinese students who habitually drank water from plastic bottles. However, it is not possible to determine how BHPF levels were elevated in these individuals as their water bottles were not tested for BHPF.

These findings suggest that further studies should be undertaken to evaluate the safety of BHPF, and possibly of other chemicals used as substitutes for BPA during production of plastics used for food and water packaging. Although some countries screen for compounds with estrogenic activity, anti-estrogenic compounds are not routinely screened for.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms14585

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