We must stay on top of the latest research and information in our field. There are harmful toxins out there that you may not be familiar with; it’s Bisphenol A (BPA). Handling receipts, plane tickets, and concert tickets daily, even without realizing it, can likely expose you to BPA. Serious health consequences have been linked to these everyday items. Recent studies have found connections between this endocrine-disrupting chemical and conditions such as breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, and abnormal hormonal development in children. This article provides an overview of what you need to know about the potential effects of BPA exposure so that we can all make better-informed decisions.
BPA and other toxins on receipts, airplane tickets, and concert tickets can have serious health consequences. BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical compound primarily used to manufacture various plastics. The chemical mimics human estrogen in the body and can disrupt the hormonal system, called the endocrine system. Studies link BPA to breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity, as well as hormone abnormalities in children.[1-3]
The impact is so severe on children’s development that the FDA has banned BPA plastics from all baby bottles and sippy cups, but unfortunately, this is not the case for other products on the shelves and in our life. Many consumers are increasingly worried about food in BPA-containing packaging and for a good reason. BPA can leach out of food or drink containers and into the food or beverages you consume and is commonly found in single-use plastic bottles, cellophane wrap, plastic shells, straws, the lining of most canned foods, and even plastic Tupperware. Since chronic exposure to BPA can lead to health concerns, mindfulness around this subject and avoiding exposure is vital.
BPA in Recording Media
A thermal printer prints on thermal paper using heat, making it a type of recording media. When the selected area of the thermal paper passes over the thermal print head, it produces the image using heat instead of printing ink. Thermal paper is a common medium used for printing receipts, airplane tickets, and concert tickets. One of the biggest ways we get regular exposure to the dangers is through receipts. A film of powdery BPA covers thermal receipt paper, and this loose powder leaves a high concentration of the chemical on people’s fingers. Moreover, the loose BPA powder can contaminate other substances that are handled, such as food, and penetrate the body’s pores.[6-9]
High Toxic Load
Studies have shown that receipts can contain up to 1000x more BPAs than canned food, and this is particularly concerning due to the way in which the substance is produced. In a can or bottle, the BPA is “bound” to other molecules that must break down for a person to absorb the chemical. Contrarily, the thermal paper contains loose powdery BPA that readily transfers to the skin and other surfaces.
In recent years, many manufacturers have shifted from bisphenol A (BPA) to bisphenol S (BPS) in producing thermal paper receipts as concerns regarding the negative health impacts of BPA have grown. Researchers have found that BPS can interfere with the body’s hormone systems, which may potentially lead to similar adverse health effects as those caused by BPA.
How to Deal?
Going paperless whenever possible is optimal. Practicing to say “no thank you” when the cashier offers you the receipt may be necessary, but whenever you don’t need the receipt, actively refuse it. If you like keeping your receipts, consider bringing a little pouch or folder and ask the cashier to put it in the pouch. Then, when you go over your receipts later, use gloves. If you work in an environment where you regularly touch receipts or BPA labels throughout the day, consider bringing up the toxicity with your employer. If they don’t consider replacing the printers with traditional ink printers, get yourself a pair of nitrile gloves to reduce your exposure.
Since BPAs are fat-soluble, it is possible that chronic long-term exposure could result in storing some toxins in your body’s fat cells. One great way to help safely excrete such toxins from your body is using a high-quality liposomal zeolite clinoptilolite with fulvates.
CytoDetox® is a potent zeolite that can support the safe removal of environmental toxins like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and biotoxins at the cellular level, safely and 100% naturally.
- Researchers Examine BPA and Breast Cancer Link — ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018214107.htm.
- Peeples, Lynne. “A Hormonal Mess: How an Everyday Chemical May Be Making Us Fat and Sick.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 16 Feb. 2012, www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/bpa-chemical-hormone-obesity-diabetes_n_1276996.html.
- Blue, Laura. “More Health Harms for Children Exposed to BPA.” Time, Time, 9 Jan. 2013, healthland.time.com/2013/01/09/more-health-harms-for-children-exposed-to-bpa/.
- Tavernise, Sabrina. “F.D.A. Makes It Official: BPA Can’t Be Used in Baby Bottles and Cups.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 July 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/science/fda-bans-bpa-from-baby-bottles-and-sippy-cups.html.
- Tillett, Tanya. “Bisphenol A, chapter 2: new data shed light on exposure, potential bioaccumulation.” Environmental health perspectives vol. 117,5 (2009): A210. doi:10.1289/ehp.117-a210b
- “BPA and BPS in Thermal Paper.” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, www.pca.state.mn.us/business-with-us/bpa-and-bps-in-thermal-paper.
- “Turning up the Heat on Thermal Paper Receipts.” Office for Science and Society, 28 Feb. 2020, www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health/turning-heat-thermal-paper-receipts.
- “Is BPA on Thermal Paper a Health Risk?” Plastic Pollution Coalition, 1 July 2022, www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2016/12/23/is-bpa-on-thermal-paper-a-health-hazard.
- Ecology Center. “Receipt Deceit: Toxic Chemicals in Receipt Paper – Test Results.” Ecology Center, 2023, https://www.ecocenter.org/our-work/healthy-stuff-lab/reports/receipt-deceit-toxic-chemicals-receipt-paper/test-results.
- “Direct Thermal Printer or Thermal Transfer Printer.” AB&R, 6 May 2021, www.abr.com/direct-thermal-printer-thermal-transfer-printer/.
- Thoene, Michael et al. “Bisphenol S in Food Causes Hormonal and Obesogenic Effects Comparable to or Worse than Bisphenol A: A Literature Review.” Nutrients vol. 12,2 532. 19 Feb. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12020532
- Genuis, Stephen J et al. “Human excretion of bisphenol A: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study.” Journal of environmental and public health vol. 2012 (2012): 185731. doi:10.1155/2012/185731
- Mastinu, Andrea et al. “Zeolite Clinoptilolite: Therapeutic Virtues of an Ancient Mineral.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 24,8 1517. 17 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/molecules24081517