Toxic Assets

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 9:27am

Do trace amounts of BPA turning up on cash pose a danger?

Need another good reason to go cashless?

Tests show that Bisphenol-A, a known carcinogen more commonly known as BPA, is smeared across many dollar bills.

Studies have linked BPA to obesity, infant brain damage, thyroid disease, various types of cancer, heart diseases and "permanent changes to genital tract."

It's used to make plastic for water bottles, eyeglasses, dental equipment, DVDs and a variety of other plastic products.

The chemical is difficult to remove from skin, and can become lodged in the body with repeated exposure.

Crucially, it's also used in some cash register receipts, and that could be how it's making its way onto currency.

The manufacturers of the chemical claim that it's safe, and that human exposure is minimal.

Still, the substance has been banned or restricted in many countries, but not in the United States.

For now the research is still quite preliminary, and there's no evidence that you need to stop touching paper money or cash register receipts.

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