Wednesday, November 05, 2014

2344 BPA Hole

In the damned if you do and damned if you don't department, I read a pretty scary article the other day about Bisphenyl A, AKA BPA. It's pretty hard to avoid in modern life because they make hard plastic drinking bottles out of it, put it in dental fillings, line cans with it, and use it to create cash register receipts.

The article was specifically about cash register receipts and why they're such a hazard. BTW, BPA has been banned in children's sippy cups because it's been linked to physiological and psychological risks, like cancer, diabetes, reproductive dysfunction, and children's behavioral problems. 

But it's the only viable chemical in the industry right now to use in thermal printing paper. So economically, we probably can't expect to see it go away there soon. And hey, you say, who eats cash register paper anyhow? 

You don't need to. BPA's absorbed through your skin. Worse, if you get an order of French fries, handle the receipt, then eat the French fries with your fingers, you do eat it. 

Okay, you then say, I'll just say no next time someone asks if I want a receipt. Or maybe I'll wear gloves when I take it. 

Good for you, but what about the poor retail clerk who hands out a jillion receipts a day. Especially since he or she is liable to use hand sanitizer to protect against the germs on the filthy money you hand her or him. 

Because recent research has shown that hand sanitizer, a necessity in today's disease-ridden world for clerks to use as often as possible, makes your skin super absorbent. Especially super absorbent to BPA. 

Retail. Long hours, low pay, and absorbing poison. Damned if they do and damned if they don't? Or just plain damned? 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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