Parent Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 03 August 2010 05:02
Massive amounts of harmful sterilant may be absorbed into bloodstream
A scientific study has found that receipts from ATM’s, grocery stores, fast food restaurants and gas stations contain massive amounts of bisphenol A (BPA), the harmful chemical that is known to cause fertility problems and cancer.
Huge quantities of the chemical were discovered coating 40%, or two fifths, of all U.S. thermal activated paper receipts in a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.
The group commissioned the University of Missouri Division of Biological Sciences to undertake the research. The laboratory, one of the world’s foremost research facilities, found that in some cases pure BPA made up 3% of the total weight of the receipt.
The lab also discovered that the chemical was easily transferable from the receipt onto anything it came into contact with, including the skin of anyone handling the paper.
Previous studies, including recent research by Swiss scientists, have found that BPA from receipts can transfer to skin and penetrate so deeply that it cannot be washed off and may even enter the bloodstream.
Some of the researchers also discovered that alcohol-based sanitizers can increase BPA penetration into the skin.
There are also concerns that BPA from receipts could be transferred from skin onto food and enter the body through ingestion.
Major retailers using the BPA-containing receipts include McDonald’s, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, and the U.S. Postal Service, according to the EWG research. Safeway was found to have the highest amounts of BPA on their receipts, at a level of up to 41 milligrams.
There are readily available non-BPA thermal paper receipts already being used by thousands of retailers, therefore the route of exposure to the chemical in this instance could be easily rectified, the EWG says.
“Our point is that 60 per cent of the receipts had no BPA or very insignificant traces. This is one exposure that’s easily fixed. Retailers can easily make the transition to BPA-free paper,” Anila Jacob, a senior scientist at EWG told the Toronto Star.
BPA is currently found in many plastic water bottles and used in the lining of soda, food, and baby-formula cans. Research has confirmed that the chemical can leach from the containers into the food or liquid within.
The EWG study found that the total mass of BPA on a paper receipt is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount typically entering food from BPA laced containers. The group states that BPA contamination of food should remain the priority, but that this latest information is also highly disturbing.
Although the FDA and the EPA, citing just two chemical-industry studies, still officially consider the synthetic estrogen-like chemical to be safe, hundreds of independent studies, which the feds have ignored, have linked BPA to genital abnormalities, early puberty, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fertility problems.
Even the government’s National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) recently warned that BPA is a cause for “some concern” due to possible effects on the behavior, brain, and prostate gland of children, babies, and fetuses. This prompted the FDA to announce earlier this year that it now also has “some concern” over the chemical’s use in food packaging and baby bottles – though the government regulatory body is yet to do anything about it.
Four U.S. states, including Maryland and New York State, as well as Canada, have not been willing to wait, and have recently banned BPA due to the evidence of its links to health problems.
Biomonitoring surveys by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found BPA in the bodies of a stunning 93% of all Americans over the age of 6. Interestingly, in light of the recent findings with paper receipts, EWG analysis of the CDC data has found that people who reported working in retail industries had 30 percent more BPA in their bodies than the average U.S. adult, and 34 percent more BPA than other workers.
Another new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that higher levels of BPA in people’s urine were associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver problems.
The research found that people with the highest BPA levels were twice as likely to suffer from diabetes or cardiovascular problems than those with lower levels.
Watch Alex Jones’ recent special report for more astounding and vital information on the threat posed by the chemicals being put into our foods:
Advocacy groups recommend that consumers should avoid BPA by doing the following:
• Search for unlucky 7. Avoid “#7” plastic food or beverage containers (check for the numbered triangle on the bottom of the container). Safer plastics for storing your consumables are numbers 2, 4, and 5. Better yet, go for ceramic, stainless steel, or glass.
• Look askance at cans. Favor fresh, frozen or shelf-stable boxed or pouched food over canned food (at least until food makers stop lining their cans with BPA). If you can’t completely avoid cans, be aware that BPA is prone to leach into acidic foods like tomatoes or pasta sauces. BPA is fat-soluble, too, so if you eat canned tuna, make sure it’s packed in water, not oil.
• Keep plastic cool. Avoid heating any plastic container, since this promotes leaching. “It’s probably wise never to heat or microwave food in any kind of plastic,” Landrigan says. “Most plastics contain one additive or another, and none are likely to benefit human health.” If you tote your water in a metal bottle, check with the manufacturer to see what the lining’s made out of—some could contain BPA.