When you read that title, were you surprised? When I first learned about this a few years back, I was pretty shocked. When I think of things that have the hormone mimicking chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) in them, I think of cans and plastic products, but BPA in store receipts? What?!
Now, you won’t find BPA in every single receipt you bring home. The type of receipts that usually contain BPA are thermal paper receipts, the type that are really smooth and have a bit of a shine to them. Thermal paper is often used for cash register and credit card receipts, fax machine paper, airline boarding passes, lottery tickets and more. Thermal paper is coated with a special dye and developer and that developer in some cases is BPA. When the printer is activated, this causes a reaction between the dye and developer, allowing the black print to appear on your receipt.
Approximately 40% of the receipts we bring home contain BPA, but there is no way for us to really be certain which ones contain the chemical. So what’s a consumer to do?
The good news is studies show that BPA from receipts will not absorb into the skin immediately, so if you do handle a receipt; wash your hands with soap and water as soon as possible, but don’t use an alcohol based sanitizer as they can enhance the absorption rate. Before you are able to wash up, avoid touching your mouth, and eyes as these are places where BPA can be absorbed easily and quickly.