Designing according to the principles of green chemistry and engineering isn't easy, but how do you even know if you're successful? Valspar designed a variant of BPA to avoid endocrine activity and decrease leaching, while maintaining desirable polymer properties, then sought out an independent lab to put it to the test.
During the design process, Valspar used modelling to predict whether or not BPA variants would bind estrogen receptors. Tetramethyl Bisphenol F (TMBPF) blocks binding using bulky methyl groups. Once in the lab, the modelling results held up: TMBPF, and the mixture of chemicals that leach from a TMBPF-based can liner, did not cause estrogen activity in any of the testing systems used. Valspar's design of the entire process also addressed leaching.
While there are additional hazards to consider and the research must withstand public and independent review, this research shows the power of applying green chemistry during the design process, and the utility of fail-fast testing.
Learn more about their approach from Sarah Vogel, Vice President for Health at the Environmental Defense Fund. Read the original research article.