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Response to "We're exposed to hormone-disrupting BPA just by breathing"

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Response to “We’re exposed to hormone-disrupting BPA just by breathing”

An article in the Guardian on Tuesday 21st of July reported on a new study investigating bisphenol A (BPA). It stated that “manufacturing and wastewater treatment sites are releasing bisphenol A into the air, exposing people to high levels of the chemical” and that “a number of studies looking at the BPA on receipt paper have revealed that large amounts of the chemical enter the bloodstream from just holding a receipt.” In fact the research being reported on didn’t look at peoples’ exposure to BPA or its health effects. In addition, we do not have evidence that touching receipts leads to large amounts of BPA entering the bloodstream.

Professor Richard Sharpe, University of Edinburgh, said:

“It is well-established that in the general population, >95% of human exposure to BPA occurs via food and drink, so the contribution that other routes of exposure to BPA might make, such as via air as suggested in this study, is minor. It is possible that individuals who work at or live close to such industrial sites might be exposed to extra BPA via air. However, this has not been shown (it has not yet been studied) but it is unlikely that any such exposure will be sufficient to cause any health effects.“

Professor Andy Smith, MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, said:

“These comments on BPA absorption from handling till receipts should be treated with caution. In one study published in 2014, 10 volunteers handled till receipt paper containing BPA immediately after using hand sanitizers which contained chemicals to enhance skin penetration. They then consumed French fries by hand. Blood levels of BPA in these volunteers were up to 100-times higher than where a larger group of volunteers held receipts with dry hands, did not consume fries and the BPA levels differed little from base line levels.  Even so, just because a chemical is found in the blood, does not mean it is bad for you.”

Document type: For The Record

Published: 30 July 2015

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Source: Sense About Science

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