Men around the world were delighted to have a new excuse to avoid shopping after a deadly chemical found in printed receipts was linked to impotency — but its more serious side effects were highlighted Thursday as a ban on the substance came into effect in Maryland.
Maryland was the fourth U.S. state to ban the chemical Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, which was linked to early puberty, childhood obesity, autism, reproductive problems, breast cancer and other medical issues.
The chemical is often found in baby bottles and is common in clear plastic food and drink containers. BPA is thought to leach into the container's contents when heated.
The Maryland ban, which came into effect July 1, gives manufacturers of baby bottles and other children's products until 2012 to stop using BPA, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Meanwhile Berlin-based urologist Professor Frank Sommer, 42, told The (London) Daily Telegraph on Tuesday that men could ingest enough BPA from its use in receipts to suppress male hormones in the body.
"A substance like that could shift the balance of the sex hormones in men towards estrogen," he said of the chemical, which is used to make ink visible on thermally-sensitive paper.
"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."
The Australian government said that it does not pose a risk to babies' health when ingested in low doses, but some supermarkets nonetheless agreed to phase out baby bottles containing BPA, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Maryland banned the deadly chemical BPA, which is linked to medical issues like breast cancer and reproductive problems. It’s often found in baby bottles and other plastic containers, in addition to receipts.