Most people know that bathroom habits differ the world over. While we are quite accustomed to our brightly-lit cozy bathrooms with comfortable sit-down toilet, for other cultures the toilet is a simple hole in the floor that requires users to squat to do their business. While this may sound uncomfortable to us pampered westerners, there is evidence to suggest that it may be superior to sitting comfortably on a toilet due to the way squatting tends to align the body for more efficient elimination.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only unhealthy habit we westerners have where matters of elimination are concerned. Another concern is what we use to tidy up when we are finished. As you might expect, there are numerous products available for us to take advantage of and they include a dizzying variety of bathroom tissue, or toilet paper that’s manufactured to look as clean and white as freshly-fallen snow, and therein lies part of the problem!
While paper is not a word we normally associate with health hazards, like so many other products we used in our industrialized society, there is more than meets the eye where paper – and in this case, toilet paper – is concerned. As you may already suspect, the main problem is the chemicals that are used to manufacture toilet paper give it its pristine white color and soft texture.
1. Bisphenol-A (BPA)
Recycled bathroom tissue may sound like a good way to help protect the environment but that concern probably does not trump the health and well-being of yourself and your family. Since recycled bathroom tissue is made from various other paper products such as cash register receipts, the chemicals that are used to manufacture those kinds of paper often end up in recycled toilet paper. The most notorious of those chemicals might be Bisphenol-A, better know to many as BPA. BPA is a well known endocrine disruptor, which means is can wreak havoc on your hormone levels. The good news is that recycled toilet paper normally contains just a tiny bit of BPA which does not represent a particularly serious health hazard. Considering all the other things we handle that contain BPA, most of us really don’t need to be increasing our exposure even a little bit.