"What's In Your Wallet? Another 'Estrogen'"

"A bioactive chemical cousin of BPA turns up on money and in receipts"

"Two small investigations over the past 18 months turned up U.S. greenbacks tainted with bisphenol A, a hormone-mimicking pollutant. One of them also detected BPA on paper currencies from 20 other nations. Now the authors of that second report have turned up BPA’s cousin — bisphenol S — on many of those same banknotes in addition to 13 other types of papery products.

Owing to the near ubiquity of BPS in paper, human exposure is likely also “ubiquitous,” these chemists at the New York State Department of Health conclude.

BPS also behaves like an estrogen, according to data from an unrelated new study.

When a flurry of experiments demonstrated that BPA — an ingredient in plastic foodware and food-contact materials — could function like the body’s primary female sex hormone, manufacturers began hunting for less bioactive alternatives. After its search, the largest U.S. maker of thermal-receipt paper switched to BPS from the BPA it had relied upon for its thermal “ink.” "

Janet Raloff reports for Science News June 20, 2012.

Source: Science News, 06/21/2012