Your trip to the grocery could end up costing you more than the total printed on your receipt. The Environmental Working Group has just released lab tests showing the synthetic estrogen BPA is found in high levels on cash register receipts. Bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to cancer, abnormal reproductive system development, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and asthma. Health professionals and scientists have been trying to get BPAs banned from food packaging to prevent BPAs from leaching into infant formulas, canned foods, and beverages. It turns out that major retailers are using BPA contaminated paper in their receipts including: McDonald’s, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway, and the US Postal Service. However, many receipts contain little or no BPAs such as those at Target, Starbucks, and Bank of America ATMs. What is scary is about this new discovery is that the paper used in the receipts that contain BPA look no different than papers that do not.
Research has demonstrated that this BPA leaches out of polycarbonate plastics, out of the resins used to line most food cans and out of dental sealants. When we hear about polycarbonate bottles and BPA, the amount of BPA leaching out is so minimal that it can only be measured in nanograms. Now, when we hear about average cash register receipt containing BPA, the amount of BPA leaching out is so great that it is measured in milligrams! And the BPA that is leaching out from receipts is free BPA, free meaning the individual molecules are loose and ready for uptake. However there is no research yet that shows exactly how much BPA can rub off onto fingers from receipt papers, if it penetrates through the skin – and if it does, how much gets into the circulation and if it can reach organs throughout the body. Here at the Brod Law firm we believe that the government should mandate labeling of any and all products that contain BPA, including receipts-since they are the biggest threat-at the point of purchase. That way, at least consumers would know the risks involved regarding their purchases and, most importantly, if they should wash their hands after picking up a BPA-laced receipt.