It is very common to ask for receipts after buying groceries or making some purchases at a mall. Also, most of us are in the habit of taking a receipt after any transaction at the ATM (Automated Teller Machine). But these receipts can be affecting your health. According to a report, they carry an under-recognised source of hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Receipts, which we get after almost every transaction using our debit and credit cards or from ATMs, contain high concentrations of bisphenols, particularly bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS). According to the Ecology Centre of the United States, a non-profit organisation working for environmental health, this could be linked to reproductive harm.
Bisphenol found in about 80 per cent of receipts
As part of the report, the Ecology Centre tested around 374 receipts from 144 major chain stores in 22 states of the United States and the District of Columbia. They mostly used receipts from grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, restaurants and department stores. Bisphenol (BPS or BPA) was found to be present in about 80 per cent of receipts.
“Receipts are a common exposure route for hormone-disrupting bisphenols which readily absorb through the skin. During the study we found that it is very common practice to use bisphenol-coated receipt paper,” Melissa Cooper Sargent, environmental health advocate at the Ecology Center of Michigan, said in a statement.
“Switching to non-toxic paper can be the best way forward. We urge retailers to stop using chemical-laced paper as it is not only harmful to customers but also putting their employees at risk,” she added.
The study also found safer chemical alternatives such as BPS in 20 per cent of receipts. The researchers are of the view that while BPS is marketed as a safer replacement for BPA, both are endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to health issues, including cancer.
A better way to handle this situation is to switch to a digital receipt option.