Remember when it was suddenly not OK to leave water bottles in the sun or to drink from canteens made of plastic that contained BPA?
Well, Bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical rumored to cause cancer, diabetes, early puberty, and even neurological problems, has recently resurfaced in the most unlikely place: the $1 bill.
Tests determined that 21 out of 22 $1 bills tested from California, Washington D.C. and 17 other states contained trace amounts of the chemical.
Unfortunately, dollars bills are not the only place where BPA can be found.
BPA is also commonly used in food can liners, adhesives, sports safety gear, and dental sealants: all materials that get close to our bodies.
BPA is especially dangerous because it has leaching properties that cause the material to soak into whatever it's near including food, drink, and skin.
New studies found the chemical BPA in heat-activated receipts from cash registers and dollar bills. That's right people, it's even in paper.
So are we all going to die?
The Food and Drug Administration recently marked BPA as a chemical of "some concern," but researchers are unsure of whether the trace amount of BPA found on paper could truly cause health problems.
"Typical exposure from all sources is about 1,000 times below safe intake levels set by government bodies in Europe and the U.S.," said Steven Hentges, director of the Polycarbonate/BPA group at the American Chemistry Council. "
In comparison, the trace levels of BPA claimed to be present in dollar bills are insignificant."
When isolated, such small amounts like the amount found on dollar bills may not be enough to cause serious harm, but the real problem comes from the widespread use of BPS resulting in overexposure.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statistics stating that an alarming 93% of subjects in a large-scale 2004 study had BPA in their urine.
Considering that Canada has declared BPA a "toxic substance" and the European Union has voted to ban the compound for use in baby bottles, why are we still being exposed to the chemical on such a widespread level here in the United States?
Until the time when BPA is eliminated from our manufactured goods I recommend avoiding the following: canned foods, sports safety gear, the dentist and all dental sealants printed receipts, and of course, dollar bills.
(Via The SF Gate)