Men and shopping really are a toxic mix, however men now have a perfect excuse to avoid shopping – it could make them impotent, scientists are now saying after new research.
Researchers have made the startling discovery that a gender bending chemical compound is present on some till receipts. And the levels of hazardous substance Bisphenol A (BPA) can be high enough to suppress male hormones in the body.
The compound – used to make ink visible on thermally sensitive paper – is ingested when men handle the paper – and then touch their mouths or handle food.
“A substance like that could shift the balance of the sex hormones in men towards oestrogen. In the long term, this leads to less sexual drive, encourages the belly instead of the muscles to grow and has a bad effect on erection and potency,” says Prof Frank Sommer, 42, a Berlin-based urologist.
BPA is also used in food cans, shower curtains, toys and babies bottles. And BPA has already been banned in Canada and three US states. Bottles and cans containing the chemical have been linked to breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, hyperactivity and other disorders.
Most manufacturers of baby bottles have stopped putting it in their products but older stock containing the chemical is still on sale.
In addition to suppressing male hormones it is thought that it may be triggering early puberty in girls – and putting them at greater risk of cancer and diabetes.
Scientists have claimed it is harmful enough for the Government to introduce a precautionary ban. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supports its removal and has stated concerns regarding the impact of the chemical on babies and young children.
BPA is known as an endocrine disrupter and interferes with the release of hormones. It can affect disorders associated with metabolism, fertility and neural development. It is widely used in tins of food and canned drinks to toughen the internal lining of the container.