Stop Shopping—Stop Shopping Now

Women aren't the only gender to develop a yen for shopping. Men too, can fall prey to the desire to shop 'til they drop. Male shopaholics are a real phenomenon. But they may be risking their fertility.

Hormone Suppressant

It seems that researchers have discovered that a chemical that has the effect of suppressing male hormones is contained in certain shopping receipts. Even worse, the chemical contained in those receipts, Bisphenol A (BPA) is present in high enough amounts to cause this suppressive response in men. The chemical compound BPA is used for the purpose of making the ink more visible on receipt paper that is sensitive to heat. When men handle these receipts and subsequently handle food, or touch their mouths, they ingest enough BPA to cause male factor infertility.

Urologist Frank Sommer, who has a practice in Berlin said that BPA can change the hormonal balance in men so that the female estrogen becomes dominant. Over the long-term, this means a loss of libido, a growing girth instead of growing muscles, not to mention difficulties with erectile dysfunction and potency.

Receipts aren't the only source of BPA. The compound is also used in manufacturing shower curtains, baby bottles, food cans, and some toys. It seems that BPA is everywhere.

Early Puberty

Nor are men the only gender affected. It is thought that BPA may be triggering female puberty at a much younger age. Early puberty puts girls at future risk for cancer and diabetes.

British scientists are insisting that this harmful chemical should receive a government ban. But most manufacturers haven't waited for the ban. Baby bottles, for instance, are already manufactured without BPA. However, older stock that contains the chemical remains in commercial circulation. Meantime, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in favor of removing BPA from all production lines, having already stated its concerns about the effects of BPA on infants and youngsters.

Because BPA is considered an endocrine disrupter, it has the ability to prevent the normal release mechanism of the hormones. In addition to causing metabolic disorders, BPA can cause problems with neural development and fertility.

Back in December of 2009, a collaborative effort between five British universities produced letters from seven experts who appealed in writing to the health secretary in office at that time, Andy Burnham, and asked him to set up a panel to review BPA.

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