Friday, November 7, 2014

What Do Shopping, Hand Sanitizer & Grease All Have In Common?

Feeling like you are taking the SAT's or playing a board game?  Well, these things do have something in common, but it is not positive and not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

The cash receipts in most retail registers contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a well-known endocrine disruptor that can interfere with normal body physiology, even in extremely small amounts. The endocrine glands regulate vital physiological processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and development, so mixed messages in these signals can cause significant health problems in these areas.  A study found a majority of the receipts commonly used contain BPA. 

While normal interaction with receipts may not put one in the danger range of BPA toxicity, extended handling of the receipts may.  However, when our hands come in contact with certain substances, the BPA tends to be more readily absorbed in the blood stream which allows BPA to harm our body's endocrine system.  Triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial products like hand sanitizers, soaps and cleaners, and oily substances like lotions, vegetable oil and potato chips heighten the absorption of these products in our body. At a certain point with these substances increasing our ability to absorb the BPA, we are unable to wash it off our skin.  The potential for damage is much stronger once the BPA enters the body in this way.

Many states acknowledge the toxicity of BPA by passing laws banning BPA from various products, but most of the products are intended for children, such as baby bottles and sippy cups. However, Connecticut is the only state that has banned BPA in cash receipts.

While many may think shopping is harmful because of the potential to overspend or be come focused on materialism, the issue of physical health can be added to the negatives.  I say this with a touch of sarcasm, but the toxicity of shopping receipts is an easy place to eliminate the barrage of toxins we are exposed to daily.  Being an alarmist isn't helpful, but being mindful of information and making good choices is productive.  Handle your receipts with care and with hands cleaned from plain soap.

Stay healthy & well,

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