Why using recycled toilet paper is dangerous to your health, and three green, nontoxic and sustainable alternatives to consider instead.
Like many of you good little girls and boys out there trying to be responsible citizens of Planet Earth, I bought recycled toilet paper in an attempt to be more environmentally conscious.
This method of going green in the bathroom is not such a good idea after all. In fact, it is a most decidedly BAD idea.
Green does not necessarily mean healthy!
Recycled Toilet Paper is Toxic
Two studies published in Environmental Science & Technology have shown that BPA and cousin chemical BPS used in “BPA free products” but also highly estrogenic in nature, are much more pervasive in our common, everyday products than we could have imagined.
Yeah, that BPA free stuff is no better and will mess up your hormones just as much. But then, you sensed that was the case already didn’t you? I know I did.
The term “safe chemical” is kind of an oxymoron. If a product contains chemicals, just assume they are toxic unless proven otherwise.
How does all this relate to recycled toilet paper?
Hormone Disruptors in Recycled Paper
These two studies involved examination of hundreds of samples of paper from everyday items such as toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, newspapers, magazines, tickets, and even business cards.
Most of the paper samples tested contained the hormone disruptors BPA, BPS or BOTH.
How and why the paper was so contaminated is a question that requires further study to ascertain.
But for now, the key is to avoid thermal paper as much as possible. This stuff is the worst offender perhaps because it is often recycled and may somehow become contaminated during the reclamation process.
The ink itself may also be a culprit in the overall toxicity of recycled toilet paper.
In fact, it is best to avoid touching all recycled paper period! Sister chemicals BPA and BPS absorb very readily through the skin.
You don’t have to eat it to have them enter your bloodstream.
If your job involves handling thermal paper receipts, for example, best to wear gloves. And, if you can turn down receipts and instead rely on an online itemization of your expenditures, that would be a good step as well.
TP Used for Thin Skin Near Reproductive Areas
As for your backside, opt for toilet paper made from virgin pulp or better still, bamboo toilet paper.
This is an especially important area to protect from BPA and BPS as the skin in these areas is thin and delicate.
This means that the chemicals can more easily enter the bloodstream with very close proximity to the reproductive organs.
Green AND Safe Options to Toilet Paper
If you don’t want to change habits right now, at least switch to bamboo toilet paper (I suggest this brand). It is nontoxic and sustainably produced.
If you really want to go green with your toilet habits, skip the toilet paper entirely and invest in a bidet attachment for your toilet. They are very reasonably priced and easy to install.
If this European method of saving trees doesn’t work for you, your other option is to go the reusable TP cloths route.
Any of these approaches makes for a sanitary, nontoxic and sustainable bathroom experience.
(1) Bottom Line Publications, Toxic Toilet Paper? You Got It
This is a related question. Would you share some research on how the glue in multi-ply toilet tissue disrupts hormones? I heard about it somewhere but can’t find any info.???? Thanks!
I’ve noticed paper towel lately makes my hands feel strange when I use it. Like there’s a residue left on my hands. And I also notice a strange chemical smell. I use it less and less. I seems less absorbent too.
I’m pretty sure she means man-made chemicals. Of which none are safe.
M H H
“safe chemical is an oxymoron” you realize that EVERYTHING is chemicals?
I’m just block quoting from a well-sourced article here: “Compared to regular toilet paper, which generally relies on clear-cutting forests for virgin paper and using harmful chemicals during the bleaching process, recycled toilet paper is a more sustainable option. Replacing conventional toilet paper with toilet paper made from post-consumer recycled fiber helps save forests and lessen the environmental impact of paper production. The NRDC estimates that if each U.S. household switched just one four-pack of conventional toilet paper for a four-pack of recycled toilet paper, it would save approximately 1 million trees a year, eliminate 60,600 pounds of chlorine pollution, and save 356 million gallons of fresh water. It’s worth noting, though, that recycling contamination — for example, putting receipts in the recycling bin even when they’re not accepted — has led to the presence of BPA in some recycled paper products, including recycled toilet paper. That said, the exposure is no more than what we normally get from touching receipts, newspaper ink, or the money we handle every day, and much less than we’re exposed to through our diet.”
I feel like this speaks to your concern about BPA while noting that A) virgin toilet paper is both harmful to the environment and just as harsh on the skin as recycled TP due to harsh chemical processing.
If you want to be kind to your body and Mother Earth instead of suggesting the clear cutting of forests for something you’re literally going to flush down the toilet, why don’t you offer your readers an alternative, for example, Emerald Tre brand BPA free tp made from bamboo!
Lately I have noticed that when I dampen certain brands of paper towels, they end up getting a faint sour odor. Similar to a washcloth that gets wet and then is not allowed to air dry properly. It is bacteria that causes the sour odor in fabric. I am sure it is because the paper has been recycled. I’m afraid this could probably happen with TP as well.
I dont buy recycled toilet rolls as I got a bad allergic reaction had to go to doctors got some hydrocortisine cream for the delicate parts I buy quality toilet rolls and pkt of wet wipes for sensitive skin
After some concerned thought, I don’t see how the line of reasoning in this article works. The chemicals and processes used to turn virgin pulp into regular toilet paper now are not likely to be that much safer than a recycled toilet paper made by an environmental and health conscious company. It reads very much to me like hyper-vigilance about a certain type of potential hazard, while overlooking the invisible loss of the irreplaceable virgin forest, which also has an often overlooked and invisible cyclic impact on individuals, even if our primary responsibility is to keep ourselves and our families safe. Sanitary washing of fabrics daily for a family, or looking for public bidets, is impractical for many, and may not a significant ecological or health gain over recycled toilet paper manufactured conscientiously. I applaud the general viewpoint of this newsletter, but am dismayed that it appears here to be a platform to raise the concern of those who share the general viewpoint to accept negative environmental impact for the sake of health. Walk softly on the earth, but walk it, I say.
Toilet Paper is Toxic! No surprise there somehow but there is a simple and brilliant solution = get a Hand Bidet Sprayer and you can wash with water instead of wiping which is really not very hygienic. Far cleaner, healthier, saves money and it’s also better for the environment.
I have had little success finding a virgin pulp total chlorine free toilet paper. Does anyone know of one? Thanks!