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Health Risk in Cash Register Receipts

Feng Yu

Did you know that those cash register receipts you receive at the gas pump, ATM, grocery store or at the mall can cause infertility, obesity and heart disease?  It turns out that those innocent looking paper receipts you pick up at your favorite store can be full of a harmful chemical called bisphenol-A, better known as BPA.

You may have heard of BPA in the linings of metal food cans, but according to the Environmental Working Group and a story published by the respected Rodale Press, “some paper receipts harbor BPA levels up to 1,000 times higher than BPA levels detected in the linings of metal cans.”

That means, holding a simple paper receipt for a few seconds can be absorbed though your skin and cause a great health risk, especially in pregnant women.

So what can be done to keep you safe from high levels of BPA?  You can avoid the toxic receipts by telling the cashier to keep the receipt.  Many stores like KMart are now giving you the option to send the receipt to your e-mail address or your phone with Square.  Ask your favorite store to change to paperless receipts.

If you do handle the receipt, wash your hands with soap and water.  But the Rodale article also points out to avoid toxic antibacterial soaps containing triclosan.



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