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Exposure To Bisphenol-A (BPA) From Thermal Paper/Receipts

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posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 12:37 PM
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I did several searches on this subject and while I did find several threads concerning BPA exposure via plastic food containers, canned goods and baby bottles etc., I didn't see any discussing exposure by handling thermal paper and I felt this is something that everyone should be aware of. Prior to recently viewing a MSM documentary on the subject, I was completely unaware that I was even being exposed in this fashion. Anyway, here goes....

While most people are aware of what PBAs are, their possible side effects on humans and methods of minimizing exposure to them by limiting their use of plastic bottles and canned goods, I'll just bet that most of you had no idea that thermal receipt paper could be the source of contamination. I sure as hell didn't!

I wasn't even aware that thermal paper had anything whatsoever to do with PBA exposure. That is, not until I watched a documentary on the subject last week where they actually did test to determine if the PBAs on thermal receipts could be absorbed through the skin and guess what? YES it can and YES it does!

For those who don't know what thermal paper is, here's a quick definition from Wiki;
en.wikipedia.org...

Thermal paper is a special fine paper that is coated with a chemical that changes color when exposed to heat. It is used in thermal printers and particularly in inexpensive or lightweight devices such as adding machines, cash registers, and credit card terminals.
(also widely used in ATMs, gas pumps and fax machines)

Here's another article documenting the use of PBAs in thermal paper;
green.blogs.nytimes.com...

In the thermal receipts now routinely given out by stores, BPA is often used as a color developer for the printing dye. Such receipts have a thermal-sensitive layer that, when heated, produces color. Beyond cash register receipts, high levels of BPA are also often present in the thermal paper used to make baggage destination tags, cigarette filters, and bus, train and lottery tickets.


Anyway, the documentary I watched, (wish I could find it and post it here for everyone to watch) showed an experiment where the show's host gave blood samples prior to being exposed to thermal paper in order to establish a baseline for her pre-exposure PBA levels. Then she was handed a piece of thermal receipt paper that she was instructed to grasp in here hand for 3 minutes (I think) and then after a few hours, new blood samples were drawn. All of the samples were then sent off to independent labs for testing and the results showed elevated levels of PBAs in her blood just after a few minutes of holding the paper, proving that PBAs can and are absorbed through the skin and in very significant levels.

Now, let's just think about the people who work behind cash registers, ticket counters, etc., handling these receipts all day long, every day. I doubt seriously that they have any idea that they're being contaminated with PBAs every time they tear off a receipt and hand it to their customers. Not to mention the unaware customer who may handle their receipt at the fast food joint just prior to eating their burger & fries with their hands.

www.scientificamerican.com...

A study finds that when store receipts contain the hormone-altering chemical BPA it can pass on thru the skin. BPA is typically used in plastics and the lining of canned goods but it also coats many receipts issued at supermarkets and gas stations.

Of course, it’s cashiers rather than customers who are most affected, since cashiers handle receipts throughout each day.


For those who are interested, here are a few other articles I found on the subject;

jama.jamanetwork.com...

Human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with adverse health outcomes, including reproductive function in adults1 and neurodevelopment in children exposed perinatally.2 Exposure to BPA is primarily through dietary ingestion, including consumption of canned foods.3 A less-studied source of exposure is thermal receipt paper,4 handled daily by many people at supermarkets, ATM machines, gas stations, and other settings. We hypothesized that handling of thermal receipts significantly increases BPA exposure, but use of gloves during handling minimizes exposure.


www.newsweek.com...

Two hours after touching the receipts without gloves, the BPA levels in the participants' urine was significantly elevated, rising from 1.8 micrograms of BPA per liter to 5.8 micrograms per liter.

After 8 hours, the study authors tested some of the gloveless participants again, and found that the BPA levels went up to 11.1 micrograms per liter, an almost five-fold increase.


Also of note is the fact that the replacement chemical for PBA in thermal receipts, known as PBS, has been shown to have similar effects.

www.pca.state.mn.us... chemistry-and-design-bpa-in-thermal-paper-project.html

We now know that thermal receipt paper, used widely every day, is another way that Bisphenol A (BPA) gets into us. Studies have shown cashiers have higher levels of BPA in their body fluids than other occupations. Regular receipt handling may be of particular concern to pregnant women or women of childbearing age and adolescents of both sexes who handle receipts regularly.

BPA is known to be hazardous to human, fish and other animal reproductive systems and has been linked with obesity and attention disorders. The other commonly used chemical for thermal receipts, BPS, has been shown to have some similar effects.


Anyway, I just thought that everyone should know what's on their hands when they handle their receipts.

ETA: Here's a short video that offers some useful tips for limiting exposure;





edit on 16-8-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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This actually made its way onto the british msm a little while back. But as usual it was presented as "nothing to worry about, move along" and quickly followed by some celebrity nonsense.


edit on 16-8-2014 by VoidHawk because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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originally posted by: VoidHawk
This actually made its way onto the british msm a little while back. But as usual it was presented as "nothing to worry about, move along" and quickly followed by some celebrity nonsense.


That's not hard to believe.

Just like the host of the documentary, (who I believe was Lisa Ling) said, after finding out she had been contaminated by handling thermal receipts; "Why didn't I know about this?"

I'd say, "because they didn't want us to know about it."



posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 01:05 PM
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This is concerning to me as a procrastinator. My purse is full of receipts I haven't put away!

Wowsers. Just wow. Everything around us in our daily lives seems to be bad for us. I try to.compensate by eating healthy.



posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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a reply to: Iamthatbish

I too, have stacks of receipts.

What's worse than that is the fact that I usually take a pen and write on each receipt with ink to record the amount, the date and what the purchase was for, because the printed info on thermal receipts has a way of disappearing over time. In other words, I handle the hell out of them.

This is really making me re-think the way I handle my receipts, for sure!



posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 01:49 PM
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I was curious what other effects are blamed on BPA and a google search brought up a lot of sites.
I was disappointed to see that BPA`s are being blamed for everything from tooth decay to heart attacks and everything in between.
It`s hard for me to take things like this seriously when they use a shotgun approach at defining the effects.



posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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Its also concerning in this society of going green that the alternative is an ereciept that can be not only tracked but also manipulated.

a reply to: Flatfish



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 09:53 AM
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originally posted by: Tardacus
I was curious what other effects are blamed on BPA and a google search brought up a lot of sites.
I was disappointed to see that BPA`s are being blamed for everything from tooth decay to heart attacks and everything in between.
It`s hard for me to take things like this seriously when they use a shotgun approach at defining the effects.


On the one hand, I have to agree with you and I thank you for pointing that out.

On the other hand, I have to ask myself whether or not throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the soup, wouldn't be a tactic utilized to confuse the issue by those who support or profit from, the continued use of BPA and/or BPS?

Each individual has to decide for themselves just how much exposure they are willing to tolerate and how much risk that exposure may pose to their health. IMO, knowing precisely how we're being exposed and at what levels is probably some of the most crucial information needed in that decision making process and that's why I authored this thread.

Furthermore, while numerous studies show that there may very well be adverse health issues linked to BPA, the one thing I have yet to read from any of the research concerning BPA and/or BPS, is that they are harmless or in any way beneficial to human health.

So for me personally, I tend to lean towards limiting my exposure to them as much as possible.
edit on 17-8-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2014 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: Iamthatbish
Its also concerning in this society of going green that the alternative is an ereciept that can be not only tracked but also manipulated.

a reply to: Flatfish


Unless you're paying cash for everything, I think your purchases can already be tracked by virtue of the information included when you scan your Credit/Debit card to pay for them.

Then again, isn't the whole reason for saving the receipt in the first place to prove that it was you who made the purchase? Especially when we're attempting to get a manufacturer to honor their product warranty or at tax time when we're claiming that purchase as a deduction on our tax forms.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see the "tracking" issue as that big a deal.

With respect to manipulating the receipts, I can see where that could be a problem, but probably not an unsolvable one. Furthermore, seeing how digital manipulation is a two-way street, (in that it could be manipulated by both the issuer and/or the recipient) I would expect that it would be an issue that would get addressed rather quickly by none other than the IRS.

From an individual standpoint, why couldn't the recipient just review the e-receipt for accuracy, then store it with a time stamp on it? Or, if it's needed in physical form, time stamp it and then print it up on non-thermal paper.

I'm not saying that I particularly like e-receipts or that they are the "fix-all" answer to the problem, but for now that's all we've got.

Personally, I'd just as soon like to see that BPA and/or BPS use be banned in any application that allows the chemical to leach out or contaminate the product user in any way.

edit on 17-8-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



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