Did you know that thermal paper used in point-of-sale receipts (e.g., for credit card purchases), shipping or other container labels, automated-teller machine receipts, parking tickets, and luggage tags, among others contain BPA?
Most people are trying hard to limit their exposure to BPA and what do you know- every time you purchase something, you are exposed to the endocrine-disrupting chemical. Now that is annoying!
Major retailers use these receipts in at least some of their outlets. A report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found a high level of BPA in approximately 40 percent of receipts from a sample it obtained from some major U.S. businesses.
Unlike BPA in plastic bottles and other products, the BPA on thermal paper isn’t chemically bound in any way—it is a powdery film on the surface of receipts etc. This chemical crap is so easily transferable. Therefore, every time you handle this type of paper, you are exposed. You can tell if the receipt is printed on thermal paper if it makes a mark when you scratch the surface.
Presently, researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are recruiting cashiers willing to have blood and urine samples taken to be tested for bisphenol A, or BPA because of the amount of slick receipt paper many of them handle on a daily basis.
Tips to reduce your exposure to the BPA on thermal paper:
- Wash your hands after contact with thermal paper.
- Avoid putting the receipts etc in your wallet, purse and especially your food bags, since it may contaminate your food and everything it touches.
- Have a small specific bag for receipts and when you get home dispose of them properly (more on that next week).
- If you don’t need the receipt, leave it or ask the cashier not to print one.
- Certainly, never let your children handle store receipts.
- Wear gloves if you handle thermal paper regularly.
Considering the concern about the use of such thermal receipt paper, there is a need for alternatives.
I personally say, just skip the receipt all together and avoid bringing more chemicals into your home as much as possible.
What will you do?
BPA, paper, receipts, recycling