Remember Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, the toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical which leached out of plastic drink bottles that has now been banned worldwide? Well, the bad news is that it’s still around and you have more contact with it than you imagine! Thermal paper used in cash register sales receipts and ATM receipts is loaded with this poison!
Thermal paper used in sales receipts is made up of a toxic cocktail of chemicals, it contains leuco dyes such as triaryl methane phthalide dyes, developers such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS), and sensitizers such as . 1,2-bis-(3-methylphenoxy)ethane or 2-benzyloxynapthalene.
Research conducted by University of Missouri has shown that bisphenol A (BPA) from thermal paper used in cash register receipts is linked with high levels of BPA in humans. It was observed that touching a thermal paper sales receipt after using a skin care products caused a rapid increase of BPA blood levels. Using hand sanitizer beforehand or eating after handling sales receipts also had the effect of absorbing BPA very rapidly.
What does BPA do to you? To quote Frederick S. vom Saal who was involved with this research:
“Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin, BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and has been proven to cause reproductive defects in fetuses, infants, children and adults as well as cancer, metabolic and immune problems in rodents. BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health.”
The lesson here should be fairly obvious, if we poison our soil (and our environment), we poison our food, and ultimately our own bodies! Keep it safe, keep it natural! Don’t put thermal paper into your compost bin or worm farm, it’s seriously bad stuff. Wash your hands after handling thermal paper receipts and don’t eat after handling them or let kids play with them.
You may be wondering why thermal paper is used if it’s so toxic – well, it’s the same old reason every time, it all comes down to money, it’s cheap… much like the health of the general public is to corporations who put profits above everything else.
Please handle thermal paper sales receipts safely and responsibly for the sake of your own heath and for the environment, because as we all know, both are inextricably linked!