The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has reported that cash register receipts contain hundreds of times more Bisphenol-A (BPA) than plastic food containers and the linings of aluminum cans, and that BPA can be absorbed through your skin with contact.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, and can cause obesity, cancer, and a host of other problems.Â Steps should be taken to avoid contact with BPA, particularly for infants, children, and pregnant women.Â It is unknown how much of the BPA in cash register receipts is absorbed by the skin, but even a small amount adds up over time.
EWG tested receipts from 36 sources in seven different states and found varying levels of BPA.Â Bisphenol-A is used as a color developer in carbon-less paper and thermal paper, which is used for cash register receipts.
Environmental Working Group is a non-profit research group based in Washington D.C. and is known for its safety studies.Â According to EWG: "Major retailers using BPA-containing receipts in at least some outlets included McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway and the U.S. Postal Service. Receipts from some major chains, including Target, Starbucks and Bank of America ATMs, issued receipts that were BPA-free or contained only trace amounts."
It's pretty scary that we can't go anywhere these days without coming into contact with a potentially dangerous chemical.Â Think how many receipts you touch in a day.Â Do you ever put your receipt between your teeth to hold it while you juggle your purse or wallet?Â How about your kids - how many times have you given your toddler your receipt to hold?Â How often does that receipt end up in his mouth?Â Scary, isn't it?Â This should be a major concern for retail workers or anyone who handles receipts as part of their daily jobs.Â How many receipts does a cashier or teller handle in one day?
It should also be noted that recycled toilet paper is composed of recycled receipts, which tells us that the levels of BPA in recycled toilet paper must be high, indeed.Â It's hard to convince people to use recycled paper if that means they're exposing their genitals to high amounts of BPA every day!Â It seems like we just can't win.Â Kill the environment, or contaminate ourselves with toxic chemicals.