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Dangers Of BPA: Chemical Coats 50 Percent Of All Store Receipts (VIDEO)

03/01/2013 08:39 pm ET

The FDA rejected a call last year to ban Bisphenol A, a chemical more commonly known as BPA, stating that there was "not compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions." Still, that hasn't slowed the number of reports warning of its negative health effects and dangers.

The chemical additive is commonly used in plastic bottles, containers and other packaging. But a researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia says it's also hidden in another unexpected item: receipts.

Dr. Frederick Vom Saal told HuffPost Live that about 50 percent of all thermal paper used to print store receipts and airplane tickets is coated with BPA.

"All kinds of thermal paper is coated with this chemical, and people go into a fast food restaurant, touch this paper, and touch their food and they expose themselves to huge quantities of this chemical," Vom Saal said.

In a 2012 report, Vom Saal and colleagues wrote that they "find it disturbing that government agencies continue to argue that the public should not be concerned about BPA because daily exposures are below 'safe' levels."

Vom Saal said that because the FDA said it does not have the authority to ask industry how the chemical is being used, we unfortunately have no way of knowing all the items where it can be found.

"That's a big problem," Vom Saal told HuffPost Live.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once estimated that 93 percent of people in the U.S. are exposed to BPA, with more children being exposed than adults. The FDA did ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups last year.

BPA has been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen upon entering the body. A recent study out of Duke University also found the chemical can disrupt development of the central nervous syndrome.

Dr. Wolfgang Leidtke, the author of that study, told HuffPost Live that BPA subtly derails the natural development of nerve cells.

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