And is there any reason to think that the replacement is any better than Bisphenol A (BPA) itself?

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First of all, in many products BPA has not been replaced at all. It is still present in many types of food packaging, especially in canned foods. AFAIK the main exception is baby bottles which are required to be BPA free in the US, Canada and the EU. France is also an exception as it is the only EU-country where BPA is banned for all food packaging.

Second, most companies aren't willing to tell you which substances they use in their packaging. Even if they do, not all substances have been researched intensively to rule out any harmful effects. This means that a precise answer to your question is difficult.

This being said, when BPA is replaced it seems that a common replacement in plastics is BPS, a molecule that is rather similar to BPA. According to this article in the Scientific American.

recent research reveals that a common BPA replacement, bisphenol S (BPS), may be just as harmful.

However, a variety of other solutions are also being used or are currently under investigation. Which solution is suitable depends on how and where the BPA was used. Some examples:

  • a replacement for the linings of cans containing low-acidic foods is PET or Oleaoresin (a.k.a R-Enamel, a mixture of oil and plant extracts). Note that for high-acidic foods this is not an option. That's also why most canned tomatoes still have a BPA-containing epoxy on the inside. More info here
  • plastic bottles can be replaced by TetraPak containers (which have a polyethylene inside)
  • for thermal paper/receipts biobased alternatives like derivatives of gallic acid and diphenolic acid are currently being assessed (source)

This article of the Breast Cancer fund lists some other alternatives to BPA. AFAIK no harmful effects have been found for any of the mentioned alternatives other than BPS.

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