April 19, 2016

Bisphenol A in Cash Receipts

Have you ever wondered why Vive Health’s receipt papers are yellow?

As it turns out, thermal paper commonly used for point-of-sale receipts contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical that has been widely shunned in its use in plastics and canned foods.  A study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group1 showed that BPA from receipts can be simply transferred to the skin, posing it to be a significant source of exposure for anyone who regularly handles receipts.  In addition, a 2010 Swiss study2 found that BPA transfer to the skin can penetrate to such a depth that it cannot be washed off.  This leads one to suspect that BPA exposure from our environment is more ubiquitous than previously thought.

Frequent exposures of BPA are concerning, as more and more studies show it can have wide-reaching negative long-term impacts on our health including abnormal reproductive system development, diminished intellectual capacity, behavioural abnormalities and the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.3

Fortunately with increased awareness and consumer demands, BPA and phenol-free receipts are becoming more popular.  As with some bottle-makers, some BPA-free receipt paper companies have simply replaced BPA with other phenol-based chemicals – which is not a great long-term solution.  Vive Health uses a completely non-phenol based paper that uses Vitamin C as its thermal image developer, hence its natural yellow colouring.

More and more companies are choosing these natural alternatives, but in the meantime, there are many ways one can reduce BPA exposure from receipts.

  • Decline receipts if not needed
  • Store receipts separately in an envelope
  • Avoid giving receipts to children
  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling receipts

In addition to reducing your BPA exposure, Vive Health can measure how much BPA and other similar chemicals are being stored and can recommend ways to remove them safely and effectively from the body.  Our doctors are here to help you address current concerns with the goal of long-term health.

~ Dr. Patti Yik

1  EWG 2010.  BPA Coats Cash Register Receipts.  http://www.ewg.org/research/bpa-in-store-receipts

2  Biedermann S, Tschudin P, Grob K. 2010. Transfer of bisphenol A from thermal printer paper to the skin. Anal Bioanal Chem. Published online: July 11, 2010.

3  EWG 2007.  Bisphenol A – Toxic Plastics Chemical in Canned Food.  http://www.ewg.org/research/bisphenol/bpa-and-human-diseases-rise

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