Berlin: Shopping is really bad for men`s health and fertility, scientists are now saying after new research.
Researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found on some cash receipts contains a hazardous substance, Bisphenol A (BPA), which suppresses male hormones in the body and can make men impotent.
The compound, used to make ink visible on thermally sensitive paper, is ingested when men handle the paper and then touch their mouths or handle food.
Frank Sommer, a Berlin-based urologist, said the substance could just affect sex hormones in men.
"A substance like that could shift the balance of sex hormones in men towards oestrogen," Sommer was quoted as saying by The Telegraph newspaper here.
"In the long term, this leads to less sexual drive, encourages the belly instead of the muscles to grow and has a bad effect on erection and potency," he said.
BPA has been linked to breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, hyperactivity and other disorders, and has been banned in Canada and a few US states.
It is widely used in tins of food and canned drinks to toughen the internal lining of the container. Most manufacturers of baby bottles have stopped putting it in their products but older stock containing the chemical is still on sale.
BPA is known as an endocrine disrupter and interferes with the release of hormones. It can affect disorders associated with metabolism, fertility and neural development.