Cash Register Receipts May Be Killing Us with BPA--What is Safe Any More?
May 18, 2011
For over two years, studies have shown that most standard cash register receipts contain BPA (bisphenol A)– a product that has been banned in plastic drinkware and most other items.
BPA had made headlines about two years ago, as scientists, health experts, and consumers press for a federal ban on food packaging made with the endocrine disruptive chemical that acts like a synthetic estrogen, shown to leach readily into infant formula, beverages, and canned food.
BPA exposure has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, and a host of other health risks.
Most plastic bottles had to be revamped to do away with this chemical–and rightfully so. We, at Eco Marketing Solutions, in fact, removed BPA from our bottles as soon as we had learned and reported of its potential danger–nearly 30 months ago.
According to a recent article in SustainableBusiness.com, a 2010 article in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, “Transfer of bisphenol A from thermal printer paper to the skin,” outlined that out of 13 thermal printing papers analyzed, 11 contained BPA. When taking hold of a receipt, BPA was transferred to the forefinger and the middle finger if the skin was rather dry, and wet or greasy fingers absorbed about 10 times more.
It goes on to say that most Americans are unaware that they are regularly exposed to BPA simply from holding cash register receipts,” says Michael Passoff, Senior Strategist with As You Sow. “BPA transfers easily to our skin and then through our pores into the body. Many companies continue to ignore the current science around this toxic chemical exposure and consumers are unknowingly exposed to these toxic threats every day.”
Yum! Brands (owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell) and Whole Foods are discontinuing the use of cash register receipt paper made with BPA…and I hope other retailers will do the same. Wal-Mart, which usally leads the ways in pushing their vendors to make changes, should quickly follow suit.
Now that the word is out, it would be negligent for other retailers to continue to use cash register receipts containing BPA.
Kudos to Whole Foods and Yum Brands for putting their money where their mouths are– and helping to rid their customers of unknown sources of BPA.