Health Buzz: Paper Money Contaminated With BPA

Surf your way into a good mood; sex at 95 is happening, and yes, he’d like more.

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BPA Detected on Dollar Bills

 Talk about money problems: Those dollar bills in your pocket might be tainted with bisphenol A, a hormone disrupting chemical that some experts believe is linked to health problems like infertility, cancer, early puberty, and obesity. Since BPA can easily rub off onto fingers and other items, researchers from the Washington Toxics Coalition and the advocacy group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families collected store receipts from 20 states and Washington D.C, and detected "very large quantities" of BPA on more than half, according to their report published Wednesday. They also tested 22 dollar bills, and found the chemical on 21 of them. Its "near-ubiquitous presence... highlights the fact that BPA is escaping from products to contaminate other materials in unexpected ways," the researchers wrote. "Even a well-informed consumer can't avoid exposure when contamination is so pervasive and constant." Virtually all Americans have low levels of BPA in their bloodstream, and many experts question whether a small amount of the chemical poses any harm. In November, the World Health Organization urged public health officials to delay regulations that would limit or ban BPA use until further research investigated its health effects.

  •  5 Ways to Keep Bisphenol A, or BPA, Out of Your Food
  • Heart Disease, Diabetes Linked to Chemical in Plastics
  •  Surf Your Way Into a Good Mood

     For his master's thesis at California State University–Long Beach, Ryan Pittsinger, a lifetime surfer and native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., surveyed 107 surfers after a 30-minute session in the waves and found that positivity and tranquility increased significantly while negative mood and fatigue decreased. Pittsinger shared his study results at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in San Diego in August, writes U.S. News's Mallie Jane Kim. He also offered his observational findings on how surfing can help veterans overcome symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, the subject of his Ph.D. research in counseling psychology at the University of Iowa. [Read more: Surf Your Way Into a Good Mood.]

    •  Want to Be Happier? Keep Your Focus
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    •  Sex at 95? Yes, It's Happening, and Yes, He'd Like More

       Gramps may not be as spry as he used to be, but in the bedroom there's a good chance he's getting it on and wants more, according to an Australian study released Monday. That goes for great-grandpa, too. What do you know? Elderly men still have a vigorous sex life, reports U.S. News's Kurtis Hiatt.

       It's true, but not quite in the way portrayed. Media coverage headlined the roughly one-third of the nearly 2,800 men from 75 to 95 years old in the study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, who were found to be sexually active­. The label was generously applied; it meant having had some form of sexual contact, not necessarily culminating in intercourse, as little as one time during the past year. Even so, simple arithmetic left two-thirds of the men in the "inactive" category.

       A key take-home message of the study, however, is more positive. Many older men do want and enjoy sex (about half of the sexually active men had sex twice or more a month and one in five had sex at least once a week), and of those considered sexually active, 41 percent would like more sex than they get. A number of barriers can thwart a satisfying sex life, the authors reported: partner uninterest, physical difficulties, ebbing testosterone, osteoporosis, diabetes, and drugs for depression or high blood pressure are just a few. But a little attention to the mind, the body, and the relationship can shrink them and allow an active sex life however you define it.

      •  10 Ways Your Health Might Sink Your Sex Life
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