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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Paper Money Worldwide Contaminated With Bisphenol A

by Guy McCardle

August 12, 2011

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Donate In a change of pace, I'm going into proactive mode today to try to prevent a falsehood from spreading. Cut it off at the knees as it were. Yesterday, during my daily browsing of science websites, I came across an article on how paper money from around the world has been found to be contaminated with bisphenol A (BPA). Upon reading this I thought "oh no, somebody is going to think that governments (perhaps under direction of New World Order leadership) are trying to poison their citizens". I don't know exactly why certain individuals might think this, but if it involves governments and poisons, someone somewhere is going to make a conspiracy theory out if it.

An article in the July 11th 2011 issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology points out that the amount of BPA on dollars, Euros, rubles, yuans, and other currencies, is higher than that found in household dust. However, the amount of the chemical transferred to humans was found to be 10 times lower than that imparted by household dust. Conclusion: American households are dusty but not much of the BPA on our money is being transferred to us. That is a good thing.

How did this chemical (declared by the Canadian government to be toxic) end up on paper money in the first place? Who put it there and for what possibly nefarious purpose? Sorry, I've been watching too many paranormal themed shows on the History Channel. Writing is easy if all you do is ask questions, and provide no good answers. But, I digress. Researchers found that chemicals from cash register receipts had rubbed off onto cash when placed beside it in a closed place such as a wallet or purse. It is as simple as that. Perhaps someone should look into what kinds of chemicals we are using in cash register receipts.

BPA is commonly used to make polycarbonate plastics and is found in some consumer products such as water bottles, sports equipment, and household electronics. If you look for a recycle code on plastic items and see the numbers 3 or 7 inside the triangle made of arrows, the item may contain BPA. Numerous studies indicate that BPA functions as an endocrine disruptor -- meaning it mimics the action of the sex hormone estrogen. Some studies have linked prenatal exposure to later neurological difficulties. As mentioned above, Canada has become the first country to declare BPA to be a toxic substance. The European Union and Canada have banned its use in baby bottles. A 2010 report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns regarding the exposure of fetuses, infants and young children to BPA. But, as with most topics of this nature, opinions vary. In 2011, the Food Standards Agency's chief scientist said "the evidence [is] that BPA is rapidly absorbed, detoxified, and eliminated from humans — therefore is not a health concern."

A recent study found traces of BPA on U.S. currency. This prompted the investigation of international paper money. Scientists analyzed 156 pieces of paper money from 21 countries and found all to contain various amounts of the toxic chemical. The highest levels were in paper money from Brazil, the Czech Republic and Australia (polymer not paper), while the lowest occurred in paper money from the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Levels in U.S. notes were about average.

What is the bottom line? The Environmental Science and Technology article notes "Although high levels of BPA were measured in paper currencies, human exposure through dermal [skin] absorption appears to be minor". Minor in this case can be defined as 10-fold lower than those reported from exposures due to [indoor] dust ingestion in the United States.

So... if someone comes up to you and tries to tell you that the New World Order has been found to be poisoning the world's money supply with BPA you can tell them it's not true and that you read it at Skeptoid first.

by Guy McCardle

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