BPA is found in cash register receipts

See why when the cashier asks you if you’d like your receipt, your answer should always be “No!”

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen and dangerously affects your hormonal system. It has been linked to a number of health conditions, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, altered brain and immune development, and ADHD.

It is now well known that BPA is found in hard, clear plastic bottles and in the lining of cans used for canned food. What is less well known is that BPA is also commonly found in ATM and cash register receipts.

A recent study analyzed the urine of 77 cashiers and compared it to the urine of 25 non-cashiers. It also analyzed the cash register receipt paper for BPA and the BPA alternatives BPS and BPSIP. Though, some companies have switched to BPS, recent research has found that it delivers similar health concerns.

 It found that the receipt paper contained 1-2% BPA, BPS or BPSIP by weight. It also found that the level of BPA in the urine was significantly higher after a shift in cashiers than in non-cashiers. Levels of BPS were significantly higher after a shift on cash, and BPSIP was found more frequently in the urine of cashiers than in the urine of non-cashiers.

The researchers concluded that handling receipt paper “is a potential source of occupational exposure to BPA, BPS, and BPSIP.”

That leaves the question of what effect a lifetime of handling receipts has on our health.

A small study has suggested that ginseng can protect against BPA. Soy may also help.


Environ Health Perspect 2016;124(4):437-44


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