This most excellent advice comes from Dr. Al Sears who has a great newsletter:
I guess I'm supposed to get excited about all the holiday shopping
going on and the deals you can get on days like Black Friday. But to me
it just means it takes longer to get the same things done. The lines,
the crowds. and the discounts don't thrill me. I'd rather be somewhere
So I really don't think of Black Friday as a good thing. I think it's
named appropriately.But if you do go shopping, there's something you
should know about your health.
I'm talking about the little slip of paper you tuck into your pocket
or purse every time you buy anything. From gas to all those Christmas
presents you're getting for all your friends and family this week.
That receipt is most likely covered with bisphenol A (BPA) the cancer-causing, estrogen-mimicking chemical.
Paper receipts are coated with BPA to get the ink from the receipt
printer to develop on the paper. Problem is, BPA doesn't stay on the
receipt, making it easy to be absorbed by anyone handling the paper.
What's worse is that a new study found that BPA transfers readily
from receipts to skin and can penetrate the skin to such a depth that it
cannot be washed off.1
BPA is dangerous, even in small amounts. Studies show that it may cause cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more.
Nearly every modern register uses this kind of paper. And every one
of those receipts, according to new research, contains from 250 to 1,000
times more BPA than a plastic water bottle or soda can lining. Several
states, and Canada and Europe, have banned using BPA in some of those
kinds of products.
Two other new studies looked at how much of the BPA from each receipt gets from your skin into your bloodstream.
One looked at 15 different types of paper products. including thermal
receipts, flyers, magazines, tickets, mailing envelopes, newspapers,
food contact papers, food cartons, airplane boarding passes, luggage
tags, printing papers, business cards, napkins, paper towels, and toilet
paper, collected from several cities around the world.
Thermal papers accounted for 98% of the BPA you are exposed to.
The second study says that you absorb as much as 60% of the BPA you
get on your skin.2 Fortunately, there are some good ways to avoid taking
in BPA while you're doing your seasonal shopping.
First, the easiest way to avoid getting BPA on your
hands is to decline getting a receipt. If you don't need a receipt,
leave it and ask the cashier not to print it if possible. For many small
purchases and unless you're purchasing something you may want to take
back, you probably don't need one anyway.
Second, shop at stores that don't have thermal
printers that use BPA. The Environmental Working Group's research shows
that some of the stores that use BPA-containing receipts in at least
some outlets include McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart,
Safeway and the U.S. Postal Service. Receipts from some major chains
including Target, Starbucks and Bank of America ATMs issued receipts
that were BPA-free or contained only trace amounts.3
Third, handle your receipts as little as possible,
and make sure you wash your hands the right way when you get home.
Washing your hands is one of the quickest, safest, easiest and most
overlooked things you can do to protect your health on many levels.
Unfortunately, few of us do it properly. Keep these three things in
1. You don't need a special soap. Expensive antibacterial soap is a
waste of money and can contain toxic chemicals. Same goes for hand
Ordinary, plain, unscented soap is the best. It kills just as many
microbes and bacteria as antibacterial soap. A U.S. FDA advisory
committee found that use of antibacterial soaps provides no benefits
over plain soap and water.4
2. Your choice of hot or cold water makes no difference. For comfort, I like warm water.
The length of time washing your hands is important. Twenty seconds is
the optimum length that's about the time it takes to sing the "Happy
Birthday" song twice.
4. Make sure you rinse the soap off your hands with running water and dry them well preferably on a disposable paper towel.
1. Biedermann, S., Tschudin, P., Grob, K. "Transfer of bisphenol A
from thermal printer paper to the skin." Analytical and Bioanalytical
Chemistry. Volume 398, Number 1, 571-576.
2. Mielke H, Partosch F,
Gundert-Remy U. "The contribution of dermal exposure to the internal
exposure of bisphenol A in man." Toxicol Lett. 2011 Jul
3. Lunder, S. "Synthetic estrogen BPA coats
cash register receipts." EWG. www.ewg.org. July 27, 2010. Retrieved Nov.
4. "Wash those hands, but avoid Triclosan." EWG. www.ewg.org. Retrieved Nov. 17, 2011.
BPA is a very dangerous cancer-causing, estrogen-mimicking chemical
that is contained in plastics and water bottles. It is also found in
some cash register paper receipts and various paper products, and up to
250-1000 times higher than plastic water bottles and soda can linings!
As Dr. Sears noted, it will absorb into your skin when you hold various
BPA-containing paper products in your hand.
Multiple studies have clearly shown just how dangerous this
"endocrine disruptor" actually is, and at extremely small exposure
levels. The general public is totally unaware of the massive daily
chemical exposures that we all are subjected to. Yet, we are all "bioaccumulating" these chemicals in our body fat.
The CDC has quite alarmingly already proven that the average
American is "holding" 148 environmental chemicals in their body fat and
219 chemicals in blood and urine see CDC Exposure Report .
we see the EWG (Environmental Working Group) sponsored study that found
200 environmental chemicals in newborns' umbilical cord blood! Yet
there is NO effort to alert the public or in any way, remediate this
assault on our health.
Fortunately, there are simple detox techniques that can save your life:
1) Bentonite clay baths (i.e., "magnetic" clay baths)
2) Infrared dry saunas (and heavy sweats)
3) Zeolite (also reportedly effective to clear the heavy metal radioactive isotopes: strontium 90 and cesium 137)
5) Homeopathic "isodes" for specific categories of environmental chemical detoxification
6) Go "green" and eliminate all household/office chemicals.
Logos Nutritionals will soon make available an oral chelation formula
to reduce the burden of heavy metals and other toxic chemicals on the
body. Keep an eye out for it in early 2012.