Green Buckeye RN

NYT: Check Your Receipt: It May Be Tainted
November 15, 2011, 11:18 am
Filed under: News

Over eight billion pounds of bisphenol-A, a chemical compound used in making plastic products and the linings of tin cans, are produced annually worldwide. Known as BPA, the substance turns up in human tissues, too.

Because the chemical can leach out of products and into food, diet is the most obvious means of human exposure. However, recent research shows that the chemical can be absorbed into human skin in a less familiar way: the handling of receipts.

“If we see BPA every day, and it accumulates in our bodies, it might pose a risk,” says Chunyang Liao, an environmental scientist with the New York State Department of Health and an author of a study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology on the substance’s presence in paper.

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.

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