More info on BPA, which is found in dangerously high levels in paper receipts. (Again, not found in our cup holder.)
Lawmakers and health experts have been fighting to ban the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) from food and beverage containers for a while, but a new analysis by the Environmental Working Group suggests that BPA exposure has also been found in paper receipts. Analysis specified nearly 40% of the receipts collected from supermarkets, gas stations, chain stores and automated teller machines contained BPA and in some of these cases, the BPA amounts in such receipts were 1000 times higher than that found in the epoxy lining of a food can.
BPA’s presence on paper receipts has finally given an explanation for the detection of the chemical in 93% of the American’s urine. These serve to be major sources of BPA in the day-to-day lives. On carrying a paper receipt in a wallet for months, BPA can easily be shed all around a person’s surroundings and even into the human bodies through absorption into the skin or ingestion when handling these receipts and food simultaneously.
As per the survey, the receipts from the Safeway supermarkets contained the highest BPA concentration, which can amount to nearly 41 milligrams. Suppose 41mg of BPA is ingested by a 155-pound individual, this would exceed EPA’s decades-old safe exposure limit by nearly 12 times. Though BPA was initially regarded safe and used as synthetic estrogen, plastic bottles, dental sealants and compact discs, the recent research suggests that even low doses of BPA can interfere with endocrine system and lead to a range of health effects in addition to reproductive problems and cancer.
Federal regulators have only focused on BPA leaches from containers into food and beverages initially and only recently, the FDA has expressed concern and joined the agencies in their research about BPA safety. The American Chemistry Council has stated that BPA absorption from paper receipts into skin is very low as compared to other sources. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has already taken actions to work with paper manufacturers, the chemical industry and other environmental groups to encourage BPA alternatives in manufacture.
Appleton Papers, the nation’s largest manufacturer of thermal papers, the type employed for paper receipts, dropped BPA from their formulation in 2006 out of concern regarding the safety of the chemical.