Hormone Disruptors on Money and Receipts
In a rather alarming article in the green section of the Huffington Post, Joanna Zelman reports that Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is currently doing what it can to get legislators to regulate BPA in the hopes of protecting consumers' health.
Another resource to consult is the Washington Toxics Coalition, which offers useful and practical guidelines for those who are concerned with the exposure to BPA and other synthetic, toxic chemicals that find their way into numerous consumer goods.
For all intents and purposes, the ubiquity of BPA appears to be a public health concern.
It is disturbing, to say the least, that researchers from Safer Chemicals and Washington Toxics Coalition have determined that 2.5 micrograms gets onto your fingers if you handle the contaminated receipts for just 10 seconds.
2.5 micrograms might look like an insignificant amount, but how often do we complete a purchase in any given day? Coffee at the drive-through, groceries, lunch, dry-cleaner's, gas-station, the list goes on and on. We all consume, and therefore, we all buy things every day in order to carry out the business of living. Some of us might buy less or more than other people, but making a purchase at a cash register at some point is inevitable.
Even if you don't pick up finger food and chow down right after handling the cash and the receipts, the chemical might leach into your body through your skin, seeing that skin is our largest organ that is also porous (it sweats, breathes, releases body oils, etc.)
Besides, touching cash and receipts tainted with BPA and then touching our loved ones means that we transfer the chemical from our fingers to those we care about the most.
Below are the common-sense guidelines by Washington Toxics Coalition to reduce the exposure to BPA for yourself and your loved ones:
1) Refuse receipts whenever you can
2) Store receipts separately in an envelope/purse/pouch.
3) Wash your hands after handling cash and receipts.
4) Don't let children handle receipts or cash, and teach them to wash their hands if they need to handle either.
The Huffington Post article doesn't reveal if BPA is found in other paper money apart from the dollar bill, nor does it disclose the reason why there is BPA on the bills in the first place. So it would be prudent to exercise caution and treat all paper money as tainted with BPA.