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JRC scientists use in vitro and in silico tools to describe weak estrogenic activities of Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S

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May 04, 2012
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Alternative methods to animal testing bring insights about the structure-activity relationships of these two chemicals

Scientists from the European Commission Joint Research Centre investigated in vitro and in silico tools to assess the toxicity of Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS), both used for the production of widely applied plastics (polycarbonate and polyethersulphone respectively). 

One of the major concerns leading to the recent ban of polycarbonate babybottles made from BPA from the European market was its weak estrogenic activity.

Despite the fact that there was hardly found any migration of Bisphenol S (BPS) from the polycarbonate plastic substitute material polyethersulphone*, JRC scientists compared the estrogen receptor binding affinities and liver phase-I biotransformation of BPS and BPA. 

They concluded that both compounds have similar toxicological effects and these findings need to be considered in further risk assessment studies on BPA and other chemicals such as BPS for the production of plastic materials intended to come into contact with the consumer. 

Read full article:
Elise Grignard, Silvia Lapenna, Susanne Bremer, Weak estrogenic transcriptional activities of Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S, in 'Toxicology in Vitro'. Available online 5 April 2012.
doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2012.03.013


(*) Results from a large monitoring study on migration of substances from plastic baby bottles carried out by the JRC in 2011.

Photo: JRC-IHCP In vitro laboratory: Microscopic examination of cells treated with (cytotoxic) chemicals. Copyright EU 2010.