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Just the receipt please - and a dose of BPA

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Just the receipt please - and a dose of BPA

Bisphenol A (BPA), an unhealthy component of some plastics and canned food linings, has been found in 94 percent of thermal cash register receipts.

Bisphenol A (BPA), an unhealthy component of some plastics and canned food linings, has been found in 94 percent of thermal cash register receipts.

In a recent report in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers state that BPA is in most types of paper products. Tickets, newspapers, and flyers have some of the highest amounts. But the level of BPA in these products is dwarfed by the BPA found in thermal cash register receipts. They contain a whopping 98 percent of the BPA consumers are exposed to.

Researchers estimate that in North America, consumers are exposed to 33.5 tons of BPA on thermal cash register receipts each year!

And to add insult to injury, when we recycle BPA-contaminated receipts with our regular paper recyclables, we contaminate the whole lot with BPA.

Some BPA facts:

  • A BPA coating on receipts acts as a developer for printing dye.
  • People who work in retail stores are exposed to 30 percent more BPA than the average person.
  • Japan phased out the use of BPA in 2001—its receipts are BPA-free.
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