Protect your health when shopping

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

We provide card receipts. We also provide hand sanitiser. We encourage people to take both. But not at the same time.

Receipts use thermal paper, which is coated with BPA or BPS, which enables heat-activated printing. These are industrial chemical compounds, often used in plastics manufacturing.

Research has shown that exposure to these chemicals can disrupt the endocrine system. This is linked to an increased risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, thyroid issues, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, impaired liver and kidney function, inflammation and more.

Recent studies demonstrate a clear link between exposure to these chemicals and reproductive issues, including infertility; which is increasing rapidly. This is because it imitates estrogen in the body, which throws off our natural hormone production. Babies are especially sensitive to long-term hormonal disruption.

It's a serious issue.

To an extent, we cannot avoid exposure to BPA. It's in water bottles, food containers and tinned food.

Some better news: Generally, we are resilient to small amounts of BPA. Most of us instinctively know to avoid drinking out of plastic bottles every day, and not to microwave plastic. Using plastic products sensibly shouldn't have a measurable impact on our health.

Here's the important bit: Thermal paper is used for receipts, movie and travel tickets, labels etc. Touching these receipts is safe. We (hopefully) know not to put them in our mouths. The problem is when we touch them shortly before or after applying hand sanitiser.

Skin products such as hand sanitiser, sun cream and moisturisers contain chemicals called “dermal penetration enhancers” that break down the skin’s protective barrier to enhance delivery of the products’ active ingredients.

By breaking this barrier whilst touching a receipt, we expose ourselves to 185 times more BPA, which is an extremely toxic dose. This has been proven in a scientific experiment.

Unfortunately, many of us are now in the habit of using hand sanitiser when we are shopping - a habit that you should cease or pay more attention to. Regular exposure at this level could be making you very ill.

Recent legislation means that most receipt paper in the UK and EU is now BPA-free, but instead contains BPS, which has a similar effect.

If you know someone that works in retail or handles lots of receipts, share this with them. And if you work in McDonalds, please keep your black-smudged receipt off of my fries.

Thanks for reading!

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