Widespread BPA contamination in paper products, study suggests.
by Stephen Neese, originally published in Environmental Health News
Bisphenol-A (BPA) seems impossible to avoid. It contaminates food, thermal receipts and drinks served in certain plastic bottles. A new study finds its reach goes even further. Researchers detected trace amounts of the estrogen-like compound in a wide variety of paper products most of us touch every day, including toilet paper, paper towels, newspapers and business cards.
The chemical is associated with a wide scope of health risks, including reproductive cancers, low sperm counts, behavior problems, obesity and diabetes.
These paper products represent another source of BPA exposure for people, according to the study’s results, which are published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. While levels don’t compare to those found in food and are lower than levels measured in thermal paper receipts, the sheer variety of paper products identified with detectable levels of the chemical suggests widespread contamination.
The study is one of the first to report contamination in paper products other than thermal receipts, which are a major source of skin exposure to BPA. It follows another recent study that found BPA on paper money from countries around the world.
The non-thermal paper products analyzed in this study may not provide a considerable source of BPA exposure for most people.
Recycled thermal paper receipts, though, are a likely source of the BPA in the products tested in this study. People recycle about one-third of the thermal receipts used, and many products tested in this study were made from recycled paper.
BPA is used to develop the thermal receipts given to customers at checkout. But, it is loosely bound and is easily transferred to skin and other items that come into contact with the receipts.
BPA production exceeds 8 billion pounds per year.
It is used in plastic products and in the resin linings of food and drink cans. Human exposure is widespread and is mostly through diet but inhaling and skin contact are also recognized as sources of exposure. The chemical is associated with a wide scope of health risks, including reproductive cancers, low sperm counts, behavior problems, obesity and diabetes.
Read the rest of the article at EnvironmentalHealthNews.org