If you are like most people, you receive cash register receipts on a regular basis. You may or may not know that those receipts are made of a special type of thermal paper that contains high amounts of the hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA). In a study recently published in the Public Library of Sciences ONE journal, researchers discovered that BPA is transferred from receipts to hands, and exposure is increased when using skin care products such as hand sanitizers followed by eating fat-containing foods.
“Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin,” noted Frederick vom Saal, PhD, lead researcher. “BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health.”
Think of how many times you have sanitized your hands, grabbed your receipt, and sat down to eat a meal with your hands. The researchers believe that skin care products strip the hands of their natural protective oils, making it easier to absorb the chemical. Unless you need your receipt, you may want to consider declining it when you can. And avoid using hand care products before shopping if you plan to keep your receipt.
I have blogged many times about the dangers of BPA. For access to those blogs, click here.