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
Darshana Maya Greenfield
I’ve been using washable baby wipes instead of toilet paper for years!
Also got an inexpensive, non-electric bidet attachment to the toilet.
SO much better than going through all that paper!!
This is a great company for baby wipes – although at first I just cut up old fabric and an old organic cotton flannel mattress pad. Finally treated myself to some nice cloths though.
I also skip Amazon entirely! If we don’t, we many eventually have no choices. It is not that hard to find other suppliers – and the money saved is really not worth it to be using that behemoth!
thanks for all your well sourced thoughtful information. Yet, i’m always disappointed that much of what you recommend is sourced at amazon.
Sarah Pope MGA
I hear you! I am trying my best to switch away as best I can when I find an alternative source that is comparable. This is one I’ve been switching links to as I am able. https://www.azurestandard.com/?a_aid=d6064a49d1
The term “safe chemical” is NOT an oxymoron. A chemical is an element or any combination of elements. Oxygen in the air is a chemical, everything what surrounds us is a chemical. Toxic chemical is a different story. Plus TP made of virgin pulp also has toxic chemicals which enter through our skin, get into our blood stream and accumulate in our bodies. Some of the commercial paper products use more than 100,000 chemicals.
This is a terrible article, virgin pulp is not the way to go! The amounts of BPA found in recycled toilet paper is very small. You really should’ve looked into that and included some stats, also as another person said, what about bamboo toilet paper. To avoid all recycled toilet paper is ridiculous, I bet you dont or your readers dont avoid all receipts.
Sarah Pope MGA
Actually I do. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/toxic-money-how-to-protect-yourself/
NO to virgin pulp!!! It is wiping out Canada’s forests! I don’t know what the answer is, but substituting one destructive practice for another is not the answer!
Get an add on bidet. We have one from Amazon for about $30, reduced our toilet paper use by about 75% at least. Which is about $$150 a year while reducing our carbon foot print. Your tushy will thank you too 😀
What about using bamboo toilet paper? It is a safe and renewable option.