When you’re handed a receipt at a drug store or supermarket, you might be accepting more than you wish: scientists have announced that about half of paper receipts from stores and ATMs are coated with bisphenol-A, a chemical which affects the endocrine system, contributing to reproductive problems and cancer. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able buy groceries without risking an involuntary sex change? The Washington Post reports:
The Environmental Working Group found BPA on 40 percent of the receipts it collected from supermarkets, automated teller machines, gas stations and chain stores. In some cases, the total amount of BPA on the receipt was 1,000 times the amount found in the epoxy lining of a can of food, another controversial use of the chemical.
Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the environmental group, says BPA’s prevalence on receipts could help explain why the chemical can be detected in the urine of an estimated 93 percent of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Federal regulators have been focused on BPA and whether it leaches from containers into foods and beverages at levels that may cause health problems. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration expressed “some concern” about BPA and joined several agencies in conducting $30 million in studies to try to answer questions about its safety. Lawmakers on the local, state and federal levels have moved to ban BPA from food and beverage containers made for infants and children.