In recent years, the dangers of bisphenol A (BPA) have been the subject of many news and health reports. Research shows that elevated levels of BPA can lead to dangerous neurological and hormonal disruptions. As a result, many companies have voluntarily removed the chemical from plastic products such water bottles, food storage containers, baby bottles, and toys. But, did you know that another dangerous source of BPA is in cash register receipts? Many of the receipts that come from major retailers, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, fast-food restaurants, post offices and automatic teller machines (ATMs) contain BPA that is easily absorbed through the skin.
Studies have found that people who continuously handle store receipts wind up with significantly elevated levels of BPA. Further concern is for people who handle BPA-coated receipts after sanitizing their hands or after touching fast food items. Aware of the potential health consequences of BPA, we at Village Green Apothecary are happy to let you know that we are using BPA-free receipts for the wellbeing of our employees and customers.
Because so many businesses are still using receipt paper containing BPA, we think it is important to learn ways to limit your exposure. Here are some tips from the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research organization:
• Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at gas pumps, ATMs and other machines when possible.
• Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse.
• Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
• After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food.
• Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners before/after handling receipts.
• Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records.
• Do not recycle receipts. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
• If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated with BPA by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.