Forget Cans & Plastic: Your Receipts Are Covered In BPA

Forget Cans & Plastic: Your Receipts Are Covered In BPA

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Sarah Rae Smith
Sep 22, 2010

Last night I sat down to watch the nightly news and after talk on storms rolling through our area and info on the latest sports teams the newscasters reported on receipt tape. Slow news night, right? Wrong! Apparently, receipt paper from most major stores is covered in high doses of BPA — even Whole Foods!

When it comes to products in the past that have been laden with BPA, we've been able to make an educated decision on which products we're using and bringing into our home. When it comes to receipts, the decision is being made for us.

Back in July Professor Frederick vom Saal and University of Missouri colleague Julia Taylor decided to do some tests on receipt tape. Previous studies had shown that we were still getting high levels of BPA, even after the reduction from other products in our daily lives — so the pair set out to test things we come in constant contact with. After collecting receipts from all across the country and from all sorts of retailers (big and small), their results were quite literally shocking.

The high number of chemicals found on the receipt papers was astronomical and the frustrating part is that there's not much you can do about it on a personal level. Like bottles and cans before this, eventually companies will start to make choices that reflect the safety of their customers, but until that time, there are only a few things you can really do to protect yourself (aside from not thinking about all the hundreds of thousands of receipts that have passed through your hands before now).

Keeping receipts you acquire in a bag in your purse or bag is a good way to start. If you work in a field that requires you to give out receipts or handle them with constant flow, Vom Saal is suggesting that you wear rubber gloves to protect yourself.

Some retailers did test lower on the scale, with only trace amounts showing up. So good news, when you shop or place an order at Target or Starbucks, you're in the clear. Until the chemical is banned all together there's really no way to know how we're getting doses of it, but it's safe to say currently that putting your receipt in your mouth while you grab your keys in the parking lot... is 100% a bad idea!

Read more from KSHB News and check out their video in the upper right hand corner for more information.

via: KSHB News
Image: Flickr member PhotoVandal licensed for use by Creative Commons

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