UPDATE: BPA-tainted receipts and breast milk sharing



I was shopping at Vitamin Cottage this past weekend and noticed a note at the register that stated something to the effect of "our receipts are BPA-free."

My checker told me the company had addressed this concern quite a while ago and that many customers have asked about it regularly — hence the note at the counter.

In related news, I had heard some buzz a few months back about high levels of lead in reusable shopping bags — funny and sad that the domestic and seemingly safe act of grocery shopping has now become dangerous to your health, not just on account of what you decide to place in your cart.

This feature in USA TODAY points to some of the chains that house the worst culprits.

——-ORIGINAL POST, 1:34 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 ——-

Forget sticker shock ... I just gave you one more reason to fear me.
  • Forget sticker shock ... I just gave you one more reason to fear me.
As if we don't have enough harmful things floating around in our environment, a colleague forwarded me information this morning about a new health risk: your store receipts.

According to this Mother Nature Network post, a study has found that BPA from store receipts "easily passes through the skin, suggesting that cash register receipts containing the estrogen-mimicking chemical may be more worrisome than previously thought."


Here's two more posts on the subject from Fast Company:

This one compares the levels of BPA found on receipts from different stores, including CVS, Safeway, WalMart and even Whole Foods.

And this latest post from Monday highlights how the largest manufacturer of receipt paper stock has added small red fibers to its paper so consumers will know that it is BPA-free.

To balance this crappy news, here's a bit of positive news that, unlike my April Fool's Day feature on a new breast milk store, is actually true.

We received a press release yesterday regarding a breast milk sharing network that's growing globally thanks to Facebook. It's called Eats On Feets, and there is a Colorado community.

From the release, here's a little bit of backstory:

The announcement last month from internet health guru, Dr. Joseph Mercola, of his plans to launch his own brand of powdered infant formula onto the US market, has spawned the Eats On Feets GLOBAL breastmilk sharing network. In retaliation against yet another needless and harmful artificial breastmilk substitute to hit the market, mothers on Facebook from around the world have come together to take a stand for infant health. They have now established the world's largest human milk sharing network, an initiative spearheaded by Canadian lactating mother and passionate breastfeeding activist, Emma Kwasnica.
The "Eats On Feets" name is the brainchild of Phoenix, AZ midwife, Shell Walker. A mother to young children in the '90s, Walker and her friends had this thought: "Hey, why don't we just become wet-nurses? Instead of 'Meals on Wheels', we can call our business 'Eats On Feets'." Walker took this idea and made it a reality in July, 2010, when she created a Facebook profile page under the same name, and began a free, community-based breastmilk sharing network for mothers in Phoenix. She has since been successful at matching up local women who have an excess, or are in need of, human breastmilk.
Meanwhile, Kwasnica has also been using her personal profile page and her large network of international birth and breastfeeding activists on Facebook, in order to match up human milk donors and recipients around the world. One such story involves a fellow Canadian friend, living in Bandung, Indonesia; the school teacher and single father to a newborn son wondered if he could source human milk for his baby instead of feeding his son a powdered breastmilk substitute. Aware of his situation, Kwasnica put the call out to her vast network via a simple status update on Facebook, and a breastfeeding peer counselor in a neighbouring city in Indonesia responded. A string of lactating women on the ground was assembled to provide human milk locally for the infant boy. Now three months old, this baby has never tasted anything other than human milk.

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