Overlooked BPA exposure: Hidden hazard lurking in plain sight

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bpa-toxicity(NaturalHealth365)  Many health-conscious consumers do everything possible to avoid the use of food containers and plastic bottles that contain endocrine disruptor bisphenol A, or BPA.  However, often overlooked, if you accept a receipt from the cashier while you’re shopping or dining out, you’re still being exposed to BPA.  Sadly, this bad habit of touching toxic receipts is more unhealthy than most people realize.

A recent study analyzed thermal paper receipt samples and found that 60% exceeded the European Union’s acceptable limit for bisphenol A.  Another study of store receipt effects by Stockholm University and the University of Alberta has determined that bisphenol A is absorbed through the skin when we handle the register paper.  The study also showed that bisphenol A absorbed through the skin tends to stay within the body considerably longer than when this same toxin is ingested in food.

Surprising evidence about the toxic effect of BPA

For the Stockholm University study, the researchers had subjects handle store receipts for 5 minutes.  They then wore gloves for 2 hours before washing their hands.  Their urine was tested for levels of bisphenol A – both before and after the study period.

BPA measurements were highest within the first 2 minutes following the experiment.  However, even after a week, half of the participants showed bisphenol A in their urine.  By the way, if you have high blood pressure, this should be a concern of yours.

By comparison, subjects who consumed a cookie containing BPA were able to clear it out much quicker.  And, while they tested higher for BPA in the 5 hours following BPA consumption, it had left their bodies within 24 hours.

Warning: Your hormonal balance is at risk when exposed to BPA

Handling a receipt may seem like a safe and innocuous activity – something most people do every day.  However, doing so can be more harmful than using plastic water bottles or other containers, which could result in the consumption of BPA.

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While the study period was 5 minutes, just 5 seconds of exposure is long enough to transfer some BPA through your skin and into your bloodstream.  You’ll absorb up to 10 times as much if your fingers are moist or oily.

Paper money, grocery lists, and coupons stored with register receipts can contain traces of BPA and lead to increased exposure.

Research has linked BPA with causing an imbalance in the body’s hormones.  This endocrine disruptor can negatively impact your metabolism, immune system, and reproductive system.  It can even cause cancer.

BPA is also linked with poor sperm quality, reproductive dysfunction, early puberty, thyroid problems, insulin resistance, heart disease, obesity, and autoimmune diseases.  It is especially toxic to developing babies in pregnant mothers due to its ability to raise the chances of a miscarriage, chromosomal errors, and other genetic problems.

Endocrine disruptor exposure risk from plastic items is worse than we thought

In addition to being used in plastic bottles, food containers, tin can liners, and register receipt paper, BPA is also used in contact lenses, dental sealants, and electronic plastics.  Straws, plastic lids, ATM receipts, and airline tickets also contain this endocrine disruptor.

Keep in mind that exposure to excessive light, heat, or acidic foods can considerably increase the release of BPA.

Just about everyone handles at least one receipt throughout the course of a day.  But what about cashiers, who handle hundreds of receipts each day?  Their job is most certainly a personal health hazard.

Take action to protect your health with these strategies

Several practical steps can be taken to minimize the risk of exposure to BPA.  Firstly, opt for BPA-free alternatives whenever possible.  Many manufacturers now offer products labeled as BPA-free, providing consumers with safer options for everyday items like water bottles, food storage containers, and even dental products.

Another effective strategy is to reduce reliance on single-use plastics altogether.  Instead of plastic bottles and containers, consider switching to glass, stainless steel, or other non-plastic alternatives.  Similarly, choose fresh foods over canned goods whenever feasible, as BPA is commonly used in the linings of cans.

When handling items suspected to contain BPA, such as receipts or plastic lids, minimize contact and wash hands thoroughly afterward.  Additionally, store food and drinks in glass or stainless steel containers rather than plastic, especially when storing acidic or hot foods that may increase the likelihood of BPA leaching.

Lastly, stay informed and advocate for safer alternatives in your community.  By raising awareness about the risks associated with BPA exposure and supporting policies that regulate its use, you can contribute to the broader effort to reduce the prevalence of endocrine disruptors in our environment.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
Cen.Acs.org
ScienceDirect.com

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