Infertility through receipts and receipts
The thermal paper for receipts and receipts contains the hormone-damaging substance bisphenol-A, which can lead to reproductive disorders. Swedish researchers from the Jegrelius Institute have warned that the dangerous substance has been more widespread than previously thought.
Bisphenol A widespread Frequent contact with the thermal paper of receipts and other receipts therefore bears much greater risks than previously thought. Thermal paper contains dangerously high concentrations of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which has a hormone-damaging effect and can impair reproduction. "The analyzed receipts contain an average of 1.5 percent BPA," said the environmental chemist from the Swedish Jegrelius Institute, Tomas Östberg. A new study by his institute has shown that flight, train and bus tickets, parking tickets, labels or bank statements also contain BPA and the substance is therefore much more widespread than previously thought.
In addition, BPA is easily soluble and can be transferred to the environment upon contact. The contact of people or objects with the thermal paper is sufficient to contaminate them with BPA. For example, receipts and receipts in the wallet automatically result in a BPA charge on the banknotes. The human organism "BPA (...) is mainly absorbed through food, but this alone does not explain the values that can be found in the human body," explained Tomas Östberg. According to the expert, there is a lot of "evidence that handling receipts makes a major contribution" that the loads are correspondingly high. The thermal paper on the receipts and receipts is a thousand times more contaminated than, for example, nipple bottles made of polycarbonate, which have already been banned in several countries due to the health risk, said Östberg. The BPA-containing coating in the thermal paper ensures that the paper changes color when heated and so that no toner is required when printing.
BPA affects fertility The hormone-damaging effects of BPA have been observed in animal experiments in which large doses of BPA caused sterility and late sexual maturity. It was also observed here that the substance can have effects on the nervous system, the prostate and the urethra even in lower concentrations. In addition, possible pre-stages of prostate and breast cancer were detected in the experimental animals. For example, the current results of the Jegrelius Institute for the Swedish trade union are more than worrying. "It is completely unacceptable if our members are to deal with toxic substances every day that put them at risk of hormonal disorders," said association head Lars-Anders Häggström. According to the demands of the union, the hormone-damaging BPA-containing thermal paper should be avoided immediately.
Legal regulation required After the first reports of health risks from BPA were published in receipts and receipts some time ago, some retail chains reacted immediately and switched to bisphenol-free paper. The "only difference is that it is more expensive", says the lawyer in the industry association, Martina Elfgren Lilja. However, most companies are waiting for an EU decision before they take on higher costs on their own initiative. Sweden wants to campaign for lower limit values or a total ban in the upcoming decision, said the Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren and added that the new study is "alarming" and clarifies the need for a broad ban. Tomas Östberg explained that an examination of the checkout staff in the supermarkets had shown that the exposure here often came very close to the limit set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) at 0.05 mg per kg body weight. This value is not already scientifically but "politically determined". A number of experts, as well as environmental and consumer protection associations, had already protested violently three years ago when EFSA increased the tolerance limit five times.
Federal Environment Agency also warns of BPA On the basis of current research results, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) also warns of contact with BPA products in Germany. In addition, Dr. Andreas Gies from UBA talks to the magazine "Eltern" about the industry to completely waive BPA. So far, BPA has been relatively widespread and is used in many plastics such as baby bottles and food packaging, as well as a coating in food and beverage cans. So far, however, those responsible in Germany have not been able to agree on a ban on the substance. Even legal regulations explicitly aimed at children, which, like in Denmark or France, prohibit the use of BPA in products for children, have so far not been enforceable in this country. However, "many manufacturers (...) offer and label BPA-free plastic objects" with information such as ´BPA-free´, explained Dr. Gies PC´ to recognize ", so the expert. Those who want absolute security against packaging containing BPA should, however, switch entirely to glass and porcelain, according to the expert. However, this does not protect against contact with BPA through the thermal paper of receipts and receipts. (fp, 19.10.2010)
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Photo credit: Harald Wanetschka / pixelio.de.