Paper currency found to contain BPA

Aug. 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Paper money worldwide contains bisphenol A, a potentially toxic substance found in plastics, thermal paper and other products, a U.S. scientific article says.

A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found the thermal-paper cash register receipts people routinely place near their currency in wallets, purses and pockets has led to a worldwide contamination of paper money with BPA, an endocrine disruptor linked to a variety of health problems.

The amounts of BPA on dollars, Euros, rubles, yuan and other currencies are higher than in house dust, researchers said, although human intake from currency is at least 10 times less than from house dust.

The scientists' analysis of 156 pieces of paper money from 21 countries found that all contained traces of BPA, a release from the American Chemical Society said.

The highest BPA levels were in paper money from Brazil, the Czech Republic and Australia, while the lowest occurred in paper money from the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Levels in U.S. notes were about average, the researchers said.

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