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expert reaction to Fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF) and mice

A new study in Nature Communications reports that fluorene-9-bisphenol – a Bisphenol A substitute – has anti-oestrogenic effects in mice.


Prof. Richard Sharpe, Group Leader of the Male Reproductive Health Research Team at the University of Edinburgh, said:

“As far as regulatory bodies such as EFSA and FDA are concerned there is no convincing evidence for replacing use of bisphenol A by substitute chemicals, though environmental pressure groups continue to press for a ban on use of bisphenol A and its replacement. This study highlights that such replacement may be jumping ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’, by showing that one of the suggested replacement chemicals may itself have potential to cause adverse endocrine effects, although it is unclear from the studies if humans would be exposed sufficiently for this to cause harm.

“A huge amount is known about bisphenol A in terms of its activity, human exposure, metabolism etc, and it is this level of understanding that has enabled regulatory bodies to determine the risks that our exposure poses to our health. In contrast, we have very little understanding about the suggested replacement chemicals. Therefore this study, which appears generally well-designed and executed, reminds us that replacing use of one chemical by another needs to be an evidence-led process, otherwise we may do more harm than good.”


* ‘Fluorene-9-bisphenol is anti-oestrogenic and may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes in mice’ by Zhaobin Zhang et al. published in Nature Communications on Tuesday 28 February 2017. 


Declared interests

None declared

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