A toxin called Bisphenol A (BPA) can lead to cancer, birth defects and diabetes. And if you’re not careful, every time you shop, you get a new dose of this dangerous chemical.
Unfortunately, our lives have become replete with exposure to BPA. This substance is injected into a frighteningly wide range of products involved in our daily routines. It is often included in the composites dentists put into your mouth, water bottles, the linings of soft drink cans, food containers and the thermal paper retail establishments use for the their register receipts.
“BPA first was developed by a biochemist and tested as an artificial estrogen supplement,” says researcher Frederick vom Saal. “As an endocrine disrupting chemical, BPA has been demonstrated to alter signaling mechanisms involving estrogen and other hormones.”
Many items can convey BPA into your bloodstream. But vom Saal’s study at the University of Missouri shows that the BPA in store receipts may be the biggest source of the BPA that enters the body.
According to his research, you absorb a shocking large amount of BPA if you apply a skin product like hand sanitizer and then touch a store receipt containing BPA.
“Store and fast food receipts, airline tickets, ATM receipts and other thermal papers all use massive amounts of BPA on the surface of the paper as a print developer,” says vom Saal. “The problem is, we as consumers have hand sanitizers, hand creams, soaps and sunscreens on our hands that drastically alter the absorption rate of the BPA found on these receipts.”
You should be especially wary of putting on hand sanitizer, handling a receipt and then eating a food like french fries that you pick up with your hands. That may put you at very high risk of absorbing BPA.