Toxic Toilet Paper?

roll of toilet paperThe FDA refused in July of this year to ban bisphenol A (BPA), the toxic chemical that leaches out of plastic containers and cans and into our foods.

Now there is more disturbing news about BPA and it’s chemical “cousin” bisphenol S (BPS).  According to two recent studies both toxins are present in a variety of paper products including toilet paper.

BPA has estrogen-like effects and acts as an endocrine disruptor and interupts our hormone signals.  It has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, thyroid dysfunction, obesity, and birth defects.

In addition to its use in food containers, BPA is in thermal paper such as cash register receipts.  The chemical can be absorbed through our skin or via hand-to-mouth contact.  As the evidence against BPA grows, some paper manufacturers have been replacing it with BPS – which also has estrogen-like effects.

Hundreds of paper products contain BPA and or BPS – thermal paper (cash register receipts), paper towels, napkins, newspapers, flyers, envelopes, currency, facial tissue and, yes, toilet paper.

What can we do to protect ourselves?  If you must touch thermal paper frequently, wear gloves.  Wash your hands right after handling newspapers, magazines, flyers, or paper money.  Use alternatives like cloth dish towels as an alternative to paper towels and napkins to dry your hands.  Instead of using recycled toilet paper (which may have BPA and BPS from other paper products mixed in during the recycling process) use virgin pulp toilet paper.

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