Thursday, January 28, 2010

Horrible Bpa source: receipts!

Just to show how chemicals have really invaded every corner of our lives, now they've found there's the endocrine-disrupting BPA (no good for anyone's fertility) in RECEIPTS. I had done a few posts on BPA in polycarbonate SIGG bottles, but this is even more serious.

From Science News:

While working at Polaroid Corp. for more than a decade, John C. Warner learned about the chemistry behind some carbonless copy papers (now used for most credit card receipts) and the thermal imaging papers that are spit out by most modern cash registers. Both relied on bisphenol-A...

“When people talk about polycarbonate bottles, they talk about nanogram quantities of BPA [leaching out],” Warner observes. “The average cash register receipt that's out there and uses the BPA technology will have 60 to 100 milligrams of free BPA.” By free, he explains, it’s not bound into a polymer, like the BPA in polycarbonates. It’s just the individual molecules loose and ready for uptake.

As such, he argues, when it comes to BPA in the urban environment, “the biggest exposures, in my opinion, will be these cash register receipts.” Once on the fingers, BPA can be transferred to foods. And keep in mind, he adds, some hormones — like estrogen in certain birth-control formulations — are delivered through the skin by controlled-release patches. So, he argues, estrogen mimics like BPA might similarly enter the skin.

read more here.


susan g said...

I can't believe no one has commented yet. This is so pervasive! We don't have a choice of 'paper or plastic?' here. Should we wear gloves and masks to sign a credit card receipt? And 'some' of these papers are contaminated? As a retailer, how can I find the right BPa free papers? Maybe Eden Foods will make register and credit card receipt papers for us?

GreenFertility said...

Hi Susan,

I have no idea what you should do...and to protect your employees. I guess at the very least you should wash your hands after manning the till.

p.s. I have a friend going to MacDowell so I told her to go to your store~!

Anonymous said...

And then many of these receipts get recycled into toilet paper, which then gets into our drinking water, our oceans, our fish. It's a vicious cycle. More on it here: