Many of us handle store receipts AT LEAST once a day.
Maybe it’s when you pick up your coffee in the morning. A drugstore run on your lunch break. Or when you swing by the grocery store to pick up a few things on your way home.
And if you’re like most folks, you shove the receipt into your pocket, purse, or wallet and promptly forget about it. For a while anyway.
Maybe you use them for scrap paper when you’re in a pinch and need to write something down. But otherwise, I bet you don’t think about the receipts again until you need to throw some away because they’re piling up.
And that’s when you grab them, crumple them up, and toss them in the garbage.
Toxic BPA found in majority of store receipts
Seems innocent enough… right?
Well, it turns out you’ve probably just exposed yourself to an unhealthy amount of a toxic chemical. One you shouldn’t be touching with a ten-foot pole, let alone with your BARE hands.
Because according to a group of internationally recognized researchers and scientists up to 90 percent of store receipts and printed tickets which use ink that fades over time could contain bisphenol-A (BPA) or an equally as dangerous alternative.
Ever found a fine white powder sticking to your fingers after handling a receipt? That’s BPA.
Often overlooked BPA dangers
If you’re a long time reader of Healthier Talk, you’re already familiar with this endocrine-disrupting chemical. After all, I first started warning folks about it nearly a decade ago.
But BPA hasn’t been in the news as much in the past few years. The focus has shifted to other toxins like pesticides. So you might have thought the danger had faded away.
It hasn’t. In fact, that team I mentioned earlier is SO concerned they’re sounding the alarm.
They say far too few folks are aware of the harm these chemicals can do. Or how often they’re exposed to them… especially through store receipts. And I couldn’t agree more.
Endocrine disruptors can ruin your health
Your endocrine system is a network of glands, hormones, and receptors. And it teams up with your nervous system to control all of the processes in your body.
The hormones released by your endocrine glands influence virtually every cell, organ, and function in your body. And they regulate your growth, metabolism, sexual function, and even your mood.
But endocrine disruptors like BPA can throw a wrench into the whole thing. Because your body has a hard time telling the difference between them and actual hormones. And that can lead to serious health consequences.
BPA has been linked to a variety of health problems including infertility, early puberty, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Store receipts swimming in hormone impostors
In their new study, the scientists reveal just how widespread the problem is. And while their research focused on store receipts in Brazil, Spain, and France the BPA problem knows no borders.
The team analyzed 112 thermal paper receipts and tickets from across the three countries. And over 90 percent of the samples collected in Brazil and Spain contained BPA.
As feared, they showed hormone-like activity. Plus the receipts displayed anti-androgenic activity too. Which means they could also suppress male sex hormones.
They found BPA in only half of the French receipts. Which is not surprising since the French government has been working on reducing the amount of BPA used in the country for years now.
The trouble is they replaced the BPA with a kissing-cousin chemical I started warning you about years ago too, BPS.
Like bisphenol-A, BPS is a hormone imposter with many of the same health hazards linked to it. And in some ways, it’s worse. Because products with it can be labeled, “BPA-Free.” And that means folks have no idea of its dangers
Protect yourself against BPA and BPS
The best way to protect yourself is to try to limit your contact with the store receipts. The researchers shared some specific advice on how to do this.
- Avoid letting store receipts touch your food
- Don’t use receipts to jot things down
- NEVER put a receipt in your mouth or play with it
- Stop crumpling up receipts before tossing them
- Quit storing them in your pocket, purse, or handbag
In some cases, you may need to hold onto a store receipt. If so, file it away in a safe spot as soon as you can, and handle it as little as possible. And remember, you can always tell a cashier you don’t need a receipt or prefer an electronic one be mailed to you.
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