Hand sanitizer and skin care products increases the absorption of BPA into the body
(NaturalHealth365) How many of you have ever taken advantage of the free hand sanitizer that cashiers leave at the checkout counter? How many of you keep a bottle in your car or purse for a quick squirt before sitting down to a meal?
While your intent may be in the right place – to kill harmful bacteria and viruses that you may come in contact with in your day-to-day life – you could be suffering an unintended consequence, according to a scientific paper. Specifically, your handy hand sanitizer could be increasing the amount of BPA absorbed through your skin.
Using hand sanitizer makes it easier for a harmful chemical to get into your bloodstream, research shows
Conventional hand sanitizer usually contains about 65-90% alcohol along with other chemicals, many of which are potentially harmful in their own right. But in a 2014 paper published in PLOS One, the researchers discovered that people who used hand sanitizer and then touched receipts had significantly higher blood serum and urine levels of another harmful chemical, BPA.
Specifically, hand sanitizer use was associated with as much as 100-fold increase in BPA absorption. Why is this so?
It turns out that skin care products like hand sanitizers are explicitly designed to make the skin more permeable. So every time you pump a bit of the product into your palm, you’re potentially opening the gates to toxic chemicals … even if most (though never all) of the germs on your will be killed.
Sounds like a tough trade-off.
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The serious problem with BPA – and a few tips for keeping your hands-free without sanitizer
In case you don’t remember, BPA (bisphenol A) a chemical found in plastics and can easily leech into the products they contain—water, food, infant formula, etc.
Here’s why we don’t want BPA in our bodies:
The chemical is a known endocrine disruptor. This means it mimics and/or disrupts the function of key chemical messengers in your body, including estrogen. This can lead to everything from issues with reproductive health to bone health.
In fact, animal and human research has linked BPA exposure to issues like cognitive impairments, male and female infertility, and impotence. Of course, communicable bacteria and viruses can also harm your health, and it’s well-established that healthier hands mean healthier bodies.
So, what’s a health-conscious consumer to do?
First, whenever possible – wash your hands with soap and water, especially if your hands are visibly dirty. This tried-and-true practice is still deemed the best way to reduce the spread of germs.
If you can, opt for natural soaps and skin care products that are gentle on your skin, effective, and are free of harmful additives like parabens and phthalate – which can also disrupt hormone function or even increase the risk for cancer.
And if you’re out shopping, consider asking for an emailed-only receipt.
Sources for this article include: