A recent study shows handling store receipts causes BPA to stay in the body much longer than if it’s ingested. The thermal paper used in store receipts these days is high in BPA, an environmental toxin.
BPA (bisphenol-A) is the main compound in polycarbonate. BPA is in water and beverage bottles, plastic lids, the lining of tin cans, food storage containers, dental sealants, contact lenses, electronics, and many other products.
In the study, subjects handled store receipts for five minutes. They then wore gloves for two hours before washing their hands.
Follow-up urine testing showed BPA levels were highest the first two days after handling the receipts. Half the volunteers still showed BPA in their urine a week later.
A different test, however, measured BPA levels after the subjects ate a cookie with BPA in it. BPA levels spiked after five hours but cleared in a day. The scientists concluded it’s easier for the body to clear BPA that has been ingested versus BPA absorbed through the skin.
It’s important for people with Hashimoto’s low thyroid to take note of these findings — BPA has been shown to play a role in triggering and exacerbating autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid and autoimmunity that attacks nerve sheathes, which is seen in multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s important for those with Hashimoto’s, MS, and other autoimmune diseases to minimize their exposure to BPA as much as possible.
BPA is found in common everyday products
BPA is in a lot of stuff many of us handle, eat, and drink from every day. For instance, canned foods test for high amounts of BPA as it’s used in the lining, which delivers 1,000 percent more BPA than fresh soup.
An extremely common source of BPA is plastics water, soda, and juice bottles. Exposing the bottle to heat, light, or acid (such as found in sodas and juices) significantly raises BPA levels.
Microwaving your food in plastic containers? Consider stopping. Plastic food containers are another common source of BPA, especially if heated. Plastic coffee lids, straws, and any other food plastics deliver BPA as well.
If you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid, autoimmunity against neurological tissue, or other types of autoimmunity, strive to use non-toxic alternatives to plastic beverage and food containers as much as you can.
BPA on store receipts and Hashimoto’s risks
Store receipts have high levels of BPA because they are printed on thermal paper. Other receipts that use thermal paper are fast food receipts, ATM receipts, airline tickets, gas station receipts, lottery tickets, fax paper (if anyone still uses that), and so on.
This most recent study had subjects handle receipts for five minutes. However, past studies have shown you only have to handle a receipt for five seconds for BPA to pass through your skin and into your bloodstream. If your fingers are wet or greasy, you’ll absorb ten times as much.
You can also absorb BPA from handling cash that has been stored with receipts.
If you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid, consider asking the cashier to put your receipt in the bag. And if you are a cashier, consider wearing gloves while you work.
Why BPA is harmful to the body, especially if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Studies demonstrate BPA is toxic and harmful in many ways. For one, it has estrogenic properties that imbalance hormones.
Studies on rodents have shown BPA causes reproductive defects, cancer, and dysfunctions in metabolic and immune health.
BPA is very toxic to a developing fetus and increases the risk of chromosomal damage, and miscarriage.
Sadly, BPA-free is still problematic
Unfortunately, opting for a “BPA-free” doesn’t mean you’re safe. Many non-BPA plastics also contain synthetic estrogens. If you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid, skip plastic as much as possible and go for quality glass, ceramic, and metal.
How to lower your body burden of BPA
When you’re managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, it’s important to minimize your exposure to environmental toxins such as BPA. BPA and other chemicals have been shown to trigger or exacerbate Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
You can help protect your body from the damage of BPA and other toxins by eating a whole foods diet free of inflammatory foods and supplementing with nutritional compounds that protect your cells and help you detox.
Ask our office for more advice about using functional medicine to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.