Thermal paper cash register receipts account for high bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humans

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri is providing the first data that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using a skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.

"BPA first was developed by a biochemist and tested as an artificial estrogen supplement," said Frederick vom Saal, Curators Professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. "As an endocrine disrupting chemical, BPA has been demonstrated to alter signaling mechanisms involving estrogen and other hormones. Store and fast food receipts, airline tickets, ATM receipts and other thermal papers all use massive amounts of BPA on the surface of the paper as a print developer. The problem is, we as consumers have hand sanitizers, hand creams, soaps and sunscreens on our hands that drastically alter the absorption rate of the BPA found on these receipts."

In the study, researchers tested human subjects who cleaned their hands with hand sanitizer and then held thermal paper receipts. As an added step, subjects who had handled the thermal paper then ate French fries with their hands. The result was that BPA was absorbed very rapidly, vom Saal said.

"Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin," vom Saal said. "BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and has been proven to cause reproductive defects in fetuses, infants, children and adults as well as cancer, metabolic and immune problems in rodents. BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health."

BPA exposure during pregnancy causes oxidative stress in child, mother

Exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy can cause oxidative damage that may put the baby at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease later in life, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

Bisphenol A is a chemical used to manufacture plastics and epoxy resins. BPA is found in a variety of consumer products, including plastic bottles, food cans and cash register receipts.

Research has shown BPA is an endocrine disruptor — a chemical that mimics, blocks or interferes with the body’s hormones. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that more than 96 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies.

Oxidative stress occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of free radicals — highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells when the body processes oxygen — and the body cannot neutralize the chemicals quickly enough to correct the imbalance. Some environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke, ionizing radiation or some metals may contain large amounts of free radicals or encourage the body to produce more of them, according to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

"This study provides the first evidence that BPA exposure during pregnancy can induce a specific type of oxidative stress known as nitrosative stress in both the mother and offspring," said the senior author, Vasantha Padmanabhan, MS, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. "Oxidative stress is associated with insulin resistance and inflammation, which are risk factors for diabetes and other metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular disease."

Almudena Veiga-Lopez, Subramaniam Pennathur, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Heather B. Patisaul, Dana C. Dolinoy, Lixia Zeng, Vasantha Padmanabhan. Impact of Gestational Bisphenol A on Oxidative Stress and Free Fatty Acids: Human Association and Interspecies Animal Testing Studies. Endocrinology, 2015; en.2014-1863 DOI: 10.1210/en.2014-1863



PERSONAL CARE CHEMICALS:  Clean Up Your Life—10 Easy Steps


10 Easy and Affordable Ways to Reduce Your Chemical Burden Today mindbodygreen.com

1. Replace vinyl shower curtains with those made of natural fibers. This was one of the first things I did. Vinyl shower curtains contain phthalates which have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems, as well as cancer. These phthalates readily evaporate into the air and hot steamy conditions promote the release of these plasticizers.

2. Reduce use of plastic,
which can leach hormone-like chemicals; this includes plastics marked BPA-free (more on that here). Stop buying bottled water — they’re bad for the environment, expensive, and bad for your health. If you can afford to do so, swap out plastic for glassware. If you’re on a budget, start by replacing the items you use regularly like a few drinking glasses and food storage. If you can’t afford new purchases, don’t put hot or acidic food in plastic, and never microwave them.

3. Reduce intake of canned foods because, like plastic, they contain potentially toxic chemicals. If possible, buy food like beans in bulk from a health food store, and stock up when they go on sale. If you need to buy canned goods, try to avoid the really acidic food like tomatoes.

4. Break up with fragrance. They’re protected under trade secret law so you don’t know what kind of toxic stew you’re getting. Start by getting rid of things you can probably live without: scented body washes, air fresheners, dryer sheets, aftershaves, perfumes.

5. Stop using antibacterial products. They contain harsh chemicals like triclosan, which has been linked to liver toxicity and ends up in water sources. Washing hands with plain soap is just as effective and cheaper. We use the same bulk liquid soap for everything from showering to hand washing clothes to washing hands.

6. Don’t buy toothpaste with artificial sweeteners, colorings, and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates. I don’t understand why toothpaste ever needs to look, smell, or taste like bubble gum.

7. Don’t buy vitamins with synthetic and industrialized chemicals
, colorings, additives, synthesized fillers, and binders.

8. Don’t use products with nonstick treatments such as Teflon. Instead, choose cast iron or stainless steel. If you can’t afford to replace this, at least discard those that show signs of deterioration.

9. Open your windows daily, especially while you cook and after you shower. Indoor air quality can be worse than outdoors, so let your home “breathe.” Open your curtains and let in the sunlight, a natural antibacterial agent. While you’re at it, bring in some air purifying plants. I have a snake plant that only cost $4, is extremely low maintenance, tolerant of irregular watering and less lighting, and has the potential to absorb airborne chemicals. They’re also stylish looking plants that put me in a good mood.

10. Leave your shoes at the door
so that you’re not spreading outdoor pollutants and additional toxic dust throughout the house. This is the easiest thing you can do, and costs you nothing.

(Thanks to Bertram)

BPA Chemical Affects Brain Development in Zebrafish

Bisphenol A, a chemical known as BPA that’s commonly used in consumer products, reportedly affects brain development in young zebrafish, causing concern that it can also negatively impact human brains still developing in the womb, according to new research.

While it would seem that zebrafish and humans are drastically different, and therefore their responses to environmental stimuli are different too, in actuality about 80 percent of the genes found in people have a counterpart in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Not to mention that both organisms share similar developmental processes, so it may be that bisphenol is dangerous to us as well.

Public concern had caused manufacturers to modify their products and replace BPA with a chemical called bisphenol S (BPS), which is often labeled as “BPA-free” and presumed to be safer. However, according to a new report in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, exposure to both BPA and BPS changed the timing of when neurons were formed in the brains of zebrafish, leading to hyperactive behavior.

"These findings are important because they support that the prenatal period is a particularly sensitive stage, and reveals previously unexplored avenues of research into how early exposure to chemicals may alter brain development," Cassandra Kinch, a PhD student at the University of Calgary, who was involved in the research, said in a press release.

(Photo : mikhailg / Fotolia)


Is BPA really that bad for you?

Asked by anonymous


BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a compound found in the polycarbonate plastics that make up many consumer products, especially food and drink containers. This prevalence has prompted widespread concern about the safety of BPA.

The National Toxicology Program surveyed scientific literature on BPA and concluded that high levels of exposure warrants concern of developmental toxicity in infants and children. However, concern for adults is thought to be negligible.

The truth is that we still do not know the full extent of BPA’s effects because its effects have not been studied until recently. Emerging studies on rodent development suggest that BPA acts through an endocrine-disrupting mechanism. This means that BPA may be able to disrupt hormonal systems in the body as they develop.

People are concerned about BPA because of the possibility that it could have dangerous long-term effects, though studies in this area have not yet been completed because the concern over BPA toxicity is relatively recent.

The risk of BPA exposure can be minimized by choosing glass containers whenever possible and avoiding canned foods. Plastics, especially Type 3 and Type 7, are especially noted for high BPA content. 

Thank you for your question, and to read more, please visit http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/.

Answered by Claire R., Expert Leader.

Edited by Carrie K.

Are BPA-Free Bottles Just As Bad?

You may have heard by now that bisphenol A, a chemical commonly-used to make hard plastic and is found in many water bottles, can have harmful health effects. Due to evidence suggesting BPA can impair brain and reproductive development and other reasons, the FDA banned its use in baby bottles two years ago. Since then, evidence increasingly suggests that the chemical that manufacturers have replaced it with, bisphenol S, may be just as bad.”

Learn more from popsci.

stethoscopelife asked:

Hii there :) Why is bisphenol considered carcinogenic/ how does it act?

For those who aren’t aware, bisphenol is a carbon-based compound, used to make polycarbonate plastics, often used in containers that store food or drinks.

An evaluation of the then current scientific research in 2002 found that bisphenol A (BPA) ‘is not likely to be carcinogenic in humans’. Similar reviews also concluded that research on rodents had not been sufficiently carried out in order to state whether there was a carcinogenic effect. 

However, since then, research in 2012 found that BPA can affect the mammary glands (milk producing organs) in female primates, adding to concerns that it may be a weak carcinogen in humans.

It has been suggested that any carcinogenic activity of BPA could come from its oestrogenic effects - that it could act in a similar manner to the products of the breakdown of oestrogen. Several studies support the idea that these can react with DNA to cause mutations, leading to the initiation of cancer. This proposed study from 2010 planned to attempt to gather evidence that BPA can act in this way, though it hastens to point out that even if this evidence is obtained, BPA is still, at most, very weakly carcinogenic in humans. Though this was a few years ago, I haven’t managed to find any follow up, however.

In short, the research on BPA still isn’t conclusive. Still, hope that at least partially answers your question!

How Does the FDA Know What Is Safe to Eat or Buy If It Doesn’t Define Safe?
More than 90 percent of Americans carry residues of the chemical BPA in our bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control. We encounter the chemical through every day products such as plastic water bottles, canned food, and ATM receipts, and this steady exposure poses significant risks. Independent scientific studies show that BPA interferes with estrogen and alters the development of the brain, prostate, and breast tissue. The evidence is so strong that 11 states have begun to regulate BPA.

The Food and Drug Administration, however, has delayed taking action on BPA for more than five years—effectively leaving consumers to believe it is safe. Yet when public health organizations ask the agency to explain why it hasn’t protected Americans from this harmful chemical, the FDA stonewalls. NRDC recently had to sue the FDA just to make it comply with our Freedom of Information Act request for material on the agency’s BPA review.

It shouldn’t take a lawsuit for the public to find out what government officials think about health risks posed by consumer products. But as detailed in an exposé by Barry Estabrook in the latest edition of NRDC’s OnEarth Magazine, the agency repeatedly fails to protect Americans from known hazards. Not only does it discount the weight of scientific evidence on issues ranging from antibiotic use to raise livestock to mercury contamination in seafood. But it also has refuses to share how it determines something is free of harm. Read more.

Photo: Lisa Beebe



Pregnant women + Phthalates = Lower IQ in Kids…New Study


Prenatal Exposure to Common Chemicals Linked to Lower IQ in Kids

Live Science

 The children of women who are exposed to higher levels of chemicals called phthalates during pregnancy may have lower IQ scores than those whose mothers are exposed to lower levels of those chemicals, according to a new study.  Phthalates are common in products such as plastics and the fragrances used in shampoos, air fresheners and dryer sheets…


Researchers found that the children of mothers with the highest urine levels of two chemicals — called di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) — had IQ scores that were about 6 to 8 points lower than those of the children whose mothers had the lowest levels of those chemicals in their urine…


The researchers also found a link between the levels of those chemicals and specific aspects of IQ, such as the speed at which kids processed information, their ability to understand nonverbal information and their short-term memory…


There may be several mechanisms behind the link between prenatal exposure to certain phthalates and children’s IQ. First, phthalates disrupt the body’s hormones, so they may affect brain development.


"They may also modulate the activity of an enzyme called aromatase," which converts testosterone into estrogen, a hormone that is very important in brain development, Dr. Factor-Litvak told Live Science. Phthalates may also interfere with the production of thyroid hormone, which is a major player in the timing of brain development.


Moreover, the chemicals may also disrupt the brain’s activity related to the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to inattention and hyperactivity.


SOLUTIONS: To reduce the potential harmful effects from exposure to phthalates, researchers recommend that people avoid microwaving food in plastic, and they discourage consumers from using scented personal products. They also advise against using recyclable plastics labeled as 3, 6 or 7, which contain the chemicals, and encourage people to start using glass containers instead of plastic ones.

We’ve seen effects over the course of several decades…Infertility is becoming more common. Are we creating the perfect storm?

- Pat Hunt, WSU geneticist

Researchers at WSU, led by Hunt, have found a direct link between the plastics component bisphenol A, or BPA, and disrupted sperm production. In the study, Hunt and her colleagues gave newborn male mice oral doses of BPA and found that the sperm of the exposed animals did a poorer job of meiosis, the process in which cells combine the genetic information of their parents. 

Read more about the study and its implications in WSU News and Scientific American