When there's no sink in sight, a squirt of hand sanitizer always does the trick to keep germs at bay. But there is one time when you MUST resist that urge, or wind up putting yourself at risk for unwanted pounds--and increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Here's the occasion to bypass the germ-fighting gels: When you are standing at the checkout line and are tempted to use hand sanitizer before (or after) the cashier hands you the receipt.
Sanitizers work by breaking down your skin's protective outer layers so the anti-bacterial agents can work better. (Soaps do the same thing, by the way.) And while normally that is a good thing, your stripped-down skin can also let BPA in. Receipts contain high amounts of this toxic chemical.
One study found that people who used hand sanitizer and then handled a receipt had 185 times more BPA on their hands than those who hadn't used the gels. And they had more of it in their bodies, too.
Because BPA mimics estrogen, it can cause your cells to store more fat. So not only does it increase your chances of becoming overweight or obese, it also puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes and heart attacks.
So skip the hand-sanitizer. Or skip the receipt--ask the clerk to email it to you.
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