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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?

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.

As for your backside, opt for toilet paper made from virgin pulp. 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.

How to know if it’s virgin pulp?

Simple.  If the paper is not identified as a recycled product, odds are very good that it is made from virgin pulp.

Green AND Safe Options to Toilet Paper

If you really want to go green with your toilet habits, skip the recycled toilet paper 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.

Better yet. Combine these two approaches for an entirely paperless and sanitary bathroom experience.


(1) Bottom Line Publications, Toxic Toilet Paper?  You Got It