The Environmental Working Group has just released lab tests showing the synthetic estrogen BPA is found in high levels on cash register receipts. Bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to cancer, abnormal reproductive system development, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and asthma. It also causes epigenetic changes meaning that the effects of BPA can be passed on to future generations.
Health professionals and scientists have been trying to get BPAs banned from food packaging to prevent BPAs from leaching into infant formulas, canned foods, and beverages. This new discovery shows that major retailers are using BPA contaminated paper in their receipts including: McDonald’s, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway, and the US Postal Service. However, many receipts contain little or no BPAs such as those at Target, Starbucks, and Bank of America ATMs. BPAs can be directly absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that over 90% of US citizens over the age of 6 have BPAs in th bloodstream. People working in retail have 30% more BPAs than the average US adult. This is approximately 7 million people. BPA-free receipts are available but are not required. In Japan, the Japan Paper Association eliminated the use of BPAs in paper by 2003. In Wisconsin, the largest thermal paper manufacturer, Appleton Papers, discontinued the use of BPAs in their papers.