Dollar bills have been found to be contaminated with bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disrupting chemical. Previous studies have shown that store receipts contain BPA and it is believed that the BPA is then transferred to money. This unbound BPA can then easily be transferred to the skin and get absorbed into the body in amounts nearly equal to that from exposure to drink and food sources.
BPA is chiefly used in the making of plastics and is found in plastic bottles, including baby bottles, and the inside lining of canned foods. It is also used as a color developer, that’s why it is found on store receipts. BPA interferes with the normal functioning of hormones and is linked to numerous negative health effects, such as birth defects, obesity, and breast and prostate cancer. Sadly, a Center for Disease Control study found BPA in 95% of the people tested.
While we wait for regulation of this dangerous chemical, we can do our best to avoid our exposure to it. Try limiting canned foods and drinks, avoiding plastic food and drink storage containers, and handling receipts with care. I recommend hand washing to remove BPA residue on the skin, especially after handling receipts and money.
With the increasing number of airport full-body scanners at airports around the world, more people are being exposed to radiation from this unprecedented use of radiation in the general public. The dose of radiation is actually twenty times higher than originally thought and ends up concentrating in the skin. Since radiation damages DNA, the scanners can increase the risk of skin cancer.
The good news is that everybody has the option to opt out of going through the scanner. If you do opt out, you will be taken aside and patted down. In my opinion the only down side is that it will take a few more minutes of time, but you will avoid unnecessary radiation.
Sleeping in total darkness can reduce cancer risk, thanks to melatonin. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and is produced in a daily cycle, is only made by the pineal gland in the brain in the dark. Research has shown that melatonin is a strong antioxidant, can enhance immune function, can inhibit the growth of and actually kill cancer cells.
Since melatonin is made in the dark, it is important to sleep in total darkness. Even low levels of light and short duration of light exposure impair its production. That means that sleeping with any lights on, the TV on, lights shining through bedroom windows, or even turning on the light at night when going to the bathroom will inhibit melatonin production. So…for better health, sleep in TOTAL darkness.
When the weather is cold and rainy or snowy, it’s nice to burn candles, but all candles are not created equal. Most candles are made from paraffin, which is a petroleum byproduct from refining crude oil. When burned, they create indoor air pollutants. The soot contains toxic chemicals that damage indoor air quality and may damage our health.The toxicity is compounded by the added chemical fragrances that enter the air when burned.
When it comes to candles, beeswax is the way to go. This natural wax actually cleans the air when burned by creating negative ions. These negative ions will attach to positive charged ions that contain dust and other allergens. This will then settle downward ready to be swept up. Do yourself and your family a favor and burn only beeswax candles. This is especially important for anyone with respiratory health conditions, such as asthma.
New breast cancer screening guidelines recommend against routine mammograms for healthy women in their 40s due to the number of false positives. Although controversial, I can appreciate the decision. As a naturopathic physician, I strongly believe in the basic medical tenet “first do no harm” and breast trauma (squishing) and radiation are harmful.The decision to do a mammogram should be an individualized and educated decision.
The bottom line is prevention. Naturopathic physicians are experts in preventive medicine. Generally speaking, there is much to be done preventively. Regarding breast cancer risk assessment, I highly recommend vitamin D level testing and extensive hormone testing that includes estrone metabolites. Contact me, or your local naturopathic physician, for a complete preventive wellness check, including vitamin and hormone testing.