It is a little known fact that thermal paper, which is used for most receipts, contains extremely high levels of Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a form of synthetic estrogen that has been scientifically proven to cause a number of problems. “Trace BPA exposure has been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and trigger a wide variety of disorders, including chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.”[i] In sharing this message I hope to spread a sense of toxin awareness, especially since most people have heard about the danger of BPA in other forms (i.e. plastic, canned food, etc.) but aren’t aware of this hazardous hidden source.

A simple Internet search on BPA shows the undeniable attention it is getting from both the media and the general public; a Google search for “bisphenol a studies on humans” produces 5,280,000 results, Twitter shows about 300 BPA related conversations per day. From a consumer standpoint, a “BPA” search on Amazon.com displays almost 5000 “BPA free” products. Interestingly, almost 85% of the search results are about canned food or baby products. There is a focus on items that babies consume and handle, because the endocrine disruptors in BPA can easily damage the developing brain.[ii] Conversely, the ROM is trying to shift the focus toward the bigger problem: BPA hides in receipts at 250 to 1,000 times greater levels than plastic or cans. The exposure a person gets from plastic is measured in nanograms and is quite minimal, while the level of BPA on receipts is in the 60-100 milligram range. Also greasy or moist hands transmit BPA at 10x higher rates.[iii] Worst of all, a recent study shows that the BPA cannot be washed off and enters the blood stream through the skin at such a deep level that it cannot be removed once it is touched.[iv]

[i] http://www.ewg.org/chemindex/chemicals/bisphenolA
[ii] Evidence of Altered Brain Sexual Differentiation in Mice Exposed Perinatally to Low, Environmentally Relevant Levels of Bisphenol A
Beverly S. Rubin, Jenny R. Lenkowski, Cheryl M. Schaeberle, Laura N. Vandenberg, Paul M. Ronsheim and Ana M. Soto, Endocrinology, Volume 147, Issue 8, May 2006, ISSN 3681-3691
[iii] Transfer of Bisphenol A from Thermal Printer Paper to the Skin
Sandra Biedermann, Patrik Tschudin, Koni Grob, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Volume 398, Issue 1, January 9 2010, Pages 571-76, ISSN 1618-2642
[iv] Viable Skin Efficiently Absorbs and Metabolizes Bisphenol A
Daniel Zalko, Carine Jacques, Hélène Duplan, Sandrine Bruel, Elisabeth Perdu, Chemosphere, Volume 82, Issue 3, January 2011, Pages 424-430, ISSN 0045-6535, 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.09.058.