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Monday, March 7, 2011

Dangers of Shopping



No I'm not referring to the dent that shopping will put on your wallet. No I'm not referring to the anger that will consume your man when he looks at the credit card bill and see's the amount for those Louboutin's and Jimmy Choo's and YSL's that you bought over the weekend. I'm talking about something else that's very serious that you may not know about. 


All those receipts contain millions of times more BISPHENOL-A (BPA)- the cancer-causing, estrogen-mimicking chemical- than a plastic water bottle. 


BPA is dangerous, even in small amounts. Studies show that it may cause cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more. 


Nearly every modern register uses this kind of paper. And every receipts, according to this new research, contains from 40 mg to 100 mg of BPA. In comparison, a plastic water bottle contains nano grams of BPA. BPA is a chemical compound  that allows the receipts to print without old-fashioned carbon paper.

That's a lot of BPA. Now, I should point out that nobody has done any studies yet to find out how much of the BPA from each receipt gets from your skin into your blood stream. But we do know that estrogen can be absorbed by the skin- just think of the birth control patch. So it's likely that some or all of that BPA may seep into your skin. 


The EWG recommends the following tips to reduce exposures to BPA in receipts:
  • Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at gas pumps, ATMs and other machines when possible.
  • Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse.
  • Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
  • After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food (a universally recommended practice even for those who have not handled receipts).
  • Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin's BPA absorption (Biedermann 2010).
  • Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records.
  • Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
  • If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.

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