“We were surprised how many vital brain functions in fish are affected by the plasticizers used in numerous industries,” Elisabeth Schirmer, the first author of the study, said to News Atlas. “This damage, as we were able to show, does not occur immediately. However, when the brain cells are exposed to small amounts of BPA or BPS for a month, the damage is unmistakable.”
The University of Bayreuth study focused on the Mauthner cells in goldfish, which are the two largest nerve cells in fish brains, according to the outlet. The cells are part of all sensory stimuli and help vertebrates escape from predators.
The study showed a breakdown in the operation of nervous system functions and disruption in the processing of acoustic and visual stimuli.
Scientists working on the study believe that the effects suffered by the goldfish from exposure to BPS and BPA can be mimicked in humans.
“The findings obtained through studies on fish brains justify the assessment that BPA and BPS can also seriously damage the brains of adult humans,” study author Dr. Peter Machnik said. “Against this background, it is essential that science and industry develop new plasticizers to replace these bisphenols, while being safe for human health.”
Manufacturers using BPS in their products have put “BPA-free” labels on packages despite a 2020 study that BPS “can fundamentally alter fetal brain development,” per News Atlas.
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