A while back we all found out just how much BPA is present in a simple store receipt and several people blogged about it, bringing it to the forefront. It’s become more apparent that BPA lurks in places we don’t realize. So is the case with paper money too. My friends at SaferChemicals.org published an article today about a new report that illustrates how much BPA is in paper money.
The Washington Toxics Coalition along with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, who authored the report, said that 95% of bills tested came up positive for amounts of BPA. It’s more disheartening evidence that avoiding BPA is virtually impossible… no matter how hard we try.
Researchers found that half of the thermal paper receipts tested had large quantities of unbound BPA; 95% of the dollar bills tested positive for lower amounts. Unlike BPA in baby bottles and other products, BPA on thermal paper isn’t chemically bound in any way: it’s a powdery film on the surface of receipts. Data from this report indicate that this highly toxic chemical does rather easily transfer to our skin and likely to other items that it rubs against. In tests mimicking typical handling of receipts, BPA transferred from receipts to fingers. Just ten seconds of holding a receipt transferred up to 2.5 micrograms. Researchers transferred much higher amounts, about 15 times as much, by rubbing receipts.
You can read/download the full report on the Washington Toxics Coalitions website. (PDF)
WA Toxics has great tips for avoiding BPA but in a nutshell regarding paper money and recipts:
- Keep receipts/bills seperate in your purse or wallet. Its been shown that the BPA on receipts is not embedded into the materials like in plastic so, it’s in a powdery film form that can get onto hands and into mouths easier.
- WASH YOUR HANDS after handling money or receipts.
- Don’t allow children to handle money or hold receipts, or at the very least wash their hands afterwards.
- WA Toxics suggests refusing a receipt when you can. BPA Free receipts are starting to pop up but it’s not all that common yet.
Now my question is, what about paper checks? Mail? Magazines? Where else can it be lurking?