Here’s another thing to add to the list of products you should be scared to touch in China: not only may the toys contain lead, the shampoos contain carcinogens and the food contain melamine… the receipts that came with those things could also be poisonous!
According to the Global Times, receipts in Shanghai contain Biphenol A (BPA), a chemical that could cause cancer, erectile dysfunction and deformity of fetuses! Not only that, it may help make you fat too.
From its Wikipedia Page:
In 2007, a consensus statement by 38 experts on bisphenol A concluded that average levels in people are above those that cause harm to many animals in laboratory experiments. A panel convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health determined that there was “some concern” about BPA’s effects on fetal and infant brain development and behavior. A 2008 report by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) later agreed with the panel, expressing “some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A…
A 2008 review has concluded that obesity may be increased as a function of BPA exposure, which “merits concern among scientists and public health officials”. A 2009 review of available studies has concluded that “perinatal BPA exposure acts to exert persistent effects on body weight and adiposity.” Another 2009 review has concluded that “Eliminating exposures to (BPA) and improving nutrition during development offer the potential for reducing obesity and associated diseases”
How insidious! Says Shanghai Daily, the level of BPA on things like ATM receipts are 250 to 1000 times greater than in regular plastic bottles and other products that have it naturally.
The reports of BPA in receipts have caused Shanghai residents to abandon all of them at supermarket counters… but if you really want to avoid BPA, you’re going to have to not touch basically any receipt at all – pity to those who work in retail. Maybe we should start giving them gloves.