BPA in receipts we touch every day. BPA is harming us every time we do our shopping or going to the ATM.
Recently, I listened to one of the radio shows about BPA, and I cannot believe what I’ve heard. Forget about plastic bottles; that show revealed truths about products we all use and touch everyday: cosmetic products, hand sanitizer, and receipt paper on top of that! Yes, the receipts we receive after each purchase, which we hold in our hands, look at, fold, and keep in our wallet for weeks just in case of merchandise return. Studies show a rapid increase of BPA in blood after using a skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.
Scientists keep discovering that BPA is in products they did not even know about, and so now we find out that in addition to being used in food and beverage containers, which is all the FDA’s been focusing on, it’s in massive quantities on the surface of thermal paper, the well known receipt paper. Do not forget Lottery tickets and ATM receipts! Since fifteen billion pounds of BPA were produced and put in products in 2013, we don’t have a clue what other products it’s in. We should be aware that there are all of these other sources of human exposure to a chemical that’s been related to a horrifying array of human diseases. BPA, in human studies, is related to Obesity, Type II Diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, liver and kidney malfunction, immune disorders such as asthma and allergies. In females, it’s related to endometrial disorders, polycystic ovarian disease, reduced fertilization success, in vitro fertilization and plantation failure, and reduced embryo quality.
It’s a horrifying list, and also, if a woman gives birth to babies, her levels of BPA will cause increased aggressiveness, hyperactivity, and impaired learning in her offspring. And there is no level of hormone or hormone mimicking chemicals, such as BPA, that is considered safe. That’s true for carcinogens, that’s true for hormones as well.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) did a study of thermal paper, and there is no safe developer that can be coated on the surface that will create a print, and they recommended that this industry develop new approaches that essentially did away with thermal paper and went to standard print. This is a technology that cannot be used safely; there are no safe replacements, and the current replacement, the BPS, is actually a persistent organic pollutant because it gets in the environment, and it doesn’t degrade, and it’s also an endocrine disruptor just like BPA is.
The answer should be just to do away with BPA paper and go to some other printing technology. We are clearly exposed to BPA all the time. A major source of exposure is can lining because the lining of cans is made from BPA, and as the cans are heated to sterilize food in it, the BPA breaks apart and is released into the food or beverages in a can.
Some people did, and they do not touch the receipts at all; some cashiers, but not many, use gloves. I personally know only one cashier, at our post office, that uses gloves all the time. Is there a way to avoid having contact with BPA on the receipt paper? If you have a smart phone, just take a picture of it and ask to dispose the receipt to the trash for you at the register after. Some retailers like Home Depot or, for instance, my bank, offer sending a receipt digitally to you via email – just use this opportunity. Since the BPA binding to the dye in the thermal receipt paper is a reversible event, if you want to keep the thermal paper in your files, the paper will fade anyway. According to radio guest speaker Frederick vom Saal from University of Missouri, this technology just should go away as soon as possible.
Meantime, try to avoid playing with the receipts, use sanitizers wisely, and wash your hands after shopping.
Learn more about Bisphenol A (BPA): WIKIPEDIA ABOUT BPA
More about thermal paper cash register receipts and high BPA levels in humans: CLICK HERE