but you are not going to believe the latest place it is turning up…… in RECEIPTS!!! BPA is used as the compound to darken the text and make the paper readable when it is exposed to a heated print head. Where do these thermal heads exist: retail shops, grocery stores, movie tickets, credit card print outs, airline tickets, and the list goes on. Basically it is everywhere.
BPA was a compound synthesized by scientists in the late 1800’s and a couple decades later, its estrogenic properties were discovered. At the same time, DES was developed and found to be more “effective” in its estrogenic role. (see note below about what the FDA deemed effective–it’s craziness!!) BPA was shelved until scientists discovered other uses for it—mainly as polycarbonates—-plastic that can be molded, heated, softened, and thermoformed (a word I prefer not to be connected to plastic)
SO—–at this point BPA is embedded in nearly every element of society and receipts are just the latest discovery. So here’s what to do when it comes to receipts:
–DO NOT TAKE THE RECEIPT
–ASK the retailer if they are using thermal-free paper (the more people who ask the sooner they will switch over. It’s so not fair that store clerks have to deal with this toxic paper all day. And thermal free paper is widely and readily available.)
— WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT CRUMPLE THE RECEIPT (the amount of BPA in receipts is way higher than many other goods, when you crumple, it gets all over your skin)
–WASH HANDS ANYTIME YOU DEAL WITH RECEIPTS
–AVOID AS MUCH PLASTIC AS POSSIBLE IN YOUR LIFE (this is possible. just say no to plastic. you’ll be amazed how many alternatives there are)
–KEEP BPA RECEIPTS OUT OF RECYCLING BINS SO THAT IT DOES NOT WIND UP IN RECYCLED GOODS (how disturbing is that?? just when you thought you were doing something good for the environment)
BPA is turning up in the umbilical cords of newborns. It is a very difficult chemical to avoid, but that should not stop us from trying to avoid it and speaking up. As a consumer we have so many choices and how we spend our money is very direct way to show what we support.
Some other places that BPA exists in significant amounts:
hard plastics like the 5gallon poland spring water jugs
resins and epoxys
teeth sealants (used in children and adults, ask your dentist for the bpa-free version:)
And the reason we don’t want to be ingesting BPA–an estrogen mimic and hormone disruptor–is that all studies that are scientifically sound show that it is carcinogenic, causes insulin resistance, liver disease, erectile dysfunction (ha–got your attention!), and once again the list goes on.
if there’s one chemical worth fighting against–and fighting hard–it is BPA. Keep me posted on any success you have keeping BPA out of your life.
***DES has estrogenic properties (mimics estrogen)and became “popular” b/c of its supposed effectiveness in preventing miscarriages and slowing down puberty and preventing certain hormonal cancers. It took many years to discover that DES was actually quite harmful and caused tumours for the in utero baby and hindered natural puberty and was NOT effective in fighting any type of cancer. still it took many more years for the FDA to remove it from the shelves.