Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
FZG3mkG-show-poster2x3-nOossfs.png

SoCal Update

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
MZihTLV-show-poster2x3-5CKaGu8.jpg

Independent Lens

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

New Study on BPA: Receipts and French Fries Don't Mix

Support Provided By
Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/waferboard/">waferboard</a>/Flickr/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons</a>

Watch how researchers are working to make agricultural communities safer for children and families in this four-minute California Matters with Mark Bittman video.

First it was found in the lining of canned goods. Then we were told it was all over our reusable water bottles and plastic baby bottles. According to a new study published in PLOS One by the University of Missouri this month, the synthetic chemical compound Bisphenol A (BPA) can even be ingested simply by handling a cash register receipt while you're at a fast food joint.

BPA, an endocrine-disrupting environmental contaminant linked to a variety of negative health effects, such as childhood obesity and testosterone imbalances, started making headlines in 2008 after these risks were exposed to the public. Since then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed "some concern" about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate glands in fetuses, infants, and children (2010), and withdrawn its approval of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups (2012).

But the use of BPA is still prevalent in the manufacture of other consumer products and packaging, notably thermal paper, which is used in cash register receipts.

Researchers found that people who used hand sanitizer and handled a receipt before eating french fries were immediately exposed to high levels of BPA.

This is because "The chemicals used to make hand sanitizers, soaps, lotions, and sunscreen degrade the skin's ability to act as a barrier and so act as skin penetration enhancers," says Frederick S. vom Saal, one of the study's authors.

So when you touch a receipt — even for as little as 60 seconds — after you've disinfected your hands, you're inadvertently helping the BPA get into your system quicker. Pick up a few fries and the BPA is transferred from your fingers to your food as well — a double whammy.

The current regulation of BPA has largely depended on studies that focus on the health effects of the chemical after it passes through the gut. This study, however, shows that skin absorption actually leads to higher levels of biologically active BPA in the body than when it's only digested through food and drink.

Since BPA is fat soluble, the absorption happens at a greater amount in a shorter period of time. That means every time you eat any greasy foods, you could be getting a super-sized dose of BPA through your hands and then from the food you eat with your hands.

This is not to say you'll be in danger if you slather on the Purell before you grab a receipt one time, but repeated exposure could potentially increase your chances of BPA-related health issues.

So if you needed another good reason to skip the fries, this could be it. Or skip the sanitizer and opt for plain old soap and water.

Support Provided By
Read More
An asymmetrical ceramic dish holds a small, bite-sized piece of white steamed fish sitting in a thin, broth-y sauce. The fish is topped with a fine green powder. Additionally, someone is pouring more of the sauce from a small ceramic container.

Jon Yao of Kato Finds Confidence in the Flavors of His Taiwanese Upbringing

Los Angeles' Kato Restaurant, where the dishes are edible mnemonic devices for Asian Americans, is an homage to Chef Jon Yao's Taiwanese heritage.
A coloring page created by the Los Angeles Public Library's Octavia Lab. An illustration of Manuela C. García sitting next to a phonograph. Behind her is a faint sheet music background.

Manuela C. García, the Voice Behind a Treasure Trove of Old Mexican Songs

Born in Los Angeles in the late 1860s, Manuela C. García is the voice behind over 100 songs in Charles Lummis' recordings of Southwest musical heritage. Known mostly by historians specializing in 19th-century Mexican American music, her voice connects California's present musical history with its past.
A sign for Pine Ave Pier in Long Beach, California.

Where to Explore L.A.'s Most Fascinating Piers, Both Past and Present

As Los Angeles heads into the summer, find some time to see this historical piers and beaches across the county.