You’re hungry !
So you pop over to the ATM, to get some cash. The machine spits out your cash. Yah ! Along with the money, you pick up a receipt. Eish ! There is more month than money.
You stick the receipt in your wallet and head to the fast food joint, to order dinner. Whilst you’re waiting, you spritz some of the hand sanitizer provided by the fast food company, onto your hands. You’re about to eat – “cleaning” up your hands is the healthy thing to do. You don’t want to “catch” something.
The cashier rings you up, you pay and then clutch the receipt waiting for your order.
Minutes pass (it feels like hours) – you wave the receipt and access your dinner.
You tuck in.
Now, I’m not going to comment on your choice of dinner. I get it, you’re hungry and in a hurry. This blog post is about what you’re getting, along with the food.
A handful of BPA
Followed by a mouthful of BPA.
And none of it is coming from the food or beverage. It is coming from the receipts you’ve been clasping.
This is what a team of researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia discovered.
Adding up the BPA in dinner
It all began with an observation.
The team noticed, hand sanitizers are growing in popularity. People carry them in their hand bags and “cool” grocery stores and restaurants provide them, as part of their services. Hey, they’re even doing it here in deep dark Africa, our local supermarket gives you the option of wiping yourself / the trolley down, before you commence shopping.
Since the chemistry that creates “wet” hands, includes agents that change the permeability of the skin, the researchers wondered if this might have implications, when handling cash register receipts.
Before we continue……………
A quick lesson in thermal printing
I am guessing you’ve never stopped to think about the chemistry behind those paper receipts that follow you on shopping sprees.
It turns out, they are printed using thermal printing technology.
For the cliff notes on the subject, the paper consists of several layers, most notably the thermal reactive layer. What makes this thermal reactive layer notable, is it is covered with the chemical bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane, better known as Bisphenol A or BPA.
So when you hold a receipt, you’re not just holding a piece of paper – you’re actually holding somewhere between 6.1 and 11.3 mg of BPA.
But, it’s on a piece of paper – does it matter ?
The paper trail
Mmmm… so there is “lots” of BPA on a cash register receipt. If it stays on the receipt, then there is nothing to worry about.
So does it ?
The team assembled a group of volunteers to find out, where the BPA went. They asked their volunteers to hold cash register receipts, under a variety of circumstances, including just after a hand sanitizer had been applied.
Some of the BPA on the paper – did end up on the hand that was holding it, especially if the receipt was held for an extended period of time. But we’re talking about 1 – 10 ug – in the big picture of things, this is NOTHING. And not something to “worry” about.
Add in the hand sanitizer
But, if you use a hand sanitizer, the BPA jumps off the paper. We’re not talking “minute” quantities – the team detected levels between 200 – 600 ug.
And it didn’t stay on the hand surface.
Blood tests showed the chemical was crossing the skin barrier and entering the systemic circulation. And it also rubbed off on items that were touched by the “contaminated” hand.
In the study, the item it rubbed off on, was some French fries – dinner ! Which when eaten, added to the amount of BPA, entering the circulatory system.
The trouble with BPA
Officially it is SAFE. Although, unofficially there are rumours – that it is not so innocent, because it a xenoestrogen i.e. it looks a lot like estrogen, but it is different.
The sameness and the difference mean is has the potential to cause “hormone” imbalances, otherwise referred to as “endocrine disruption”.
Kit gloves required
It is a chemical that is ubiquitous. Being exposed to BPA is unavoidable…….. it really is everywhere. It’s on our money, in our foods and in our beverages.
But, that being said, to maintain BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY, you should aim to limit your exposure, as far as possible. Especially if you have a baby on board.
Being aware that cash register receipts are not just bits of paper, recording your shopping sprees, but chemical “warheads”, is step 1. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but if you see them as “warheads”, you’ll handle them more sparingly.
Handle with care
And………………… when you do handle them. Make sure your hands are DRY. Literally and figuratively.
Products that are designed to be applied to the skin i.e. creams and lotions, always include dermal penetration enhancers. Their job, is to enhance the penetration……………. of EVERYTHING, including the BPA.
You can be metabolically healthy and obese. You cannot be metabolically healthy with a specific profile of POPs. Are POPs the cause of obesity ?
Rub a dub dub – your kid is SPARKLING CLEAN. Too clean ? Maybe. The SPARKLING CLEAN kids are full of cleaning chemicals and allergies.
Are you an impulsive purchaser ? Paying cash, will help you limit the number of unhealthy items that land in your grocery basket.
Want to discover more tips and tricks that help you create BETTER BODY CHEMISTY ?
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