Every Time You Go Into a Store, You Walk Out With Toxic Waste

In All Health Watch, Featured Article, Health Warning

It happens so often, most of us don’t think twice about it…

After we pay for our purchases at a store, the clerk hands us a receipt. Maybe we crumple it up and throw it away. Maybe we put it in our wallet or purse, saving it in case we need to return an item.

Either way, we are poisoning ourselves with a toxic chemical. It’s linked to a wide range of health dangers, according to a new study.

University of Grenada scientists collected 112 thermal receipts from Brazil, Spain, and France.[1]

Chances are you handle these type of receipts all the time.  They contain a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA).

Professor Nicolas Olea was one of the study authors. He said that these receipts are easy to identify. That’s because after some time, they “lose what’s printed on them.”

And when you go to return an item to the store, “the cashiers tell you that they cannot see anything.” Often, “the only thing you find is a white powder that comes off… BPA is, that white powder that sticks to your fingers,” he said.[2]

Professor Olea and his colleagues analyzed the receipts they’d collected. They found that more than 90% had BPA.

BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It interferes with hormonal balance. It can lead to obesity, infertility, and cancer in organs that are hormone-dependent…like breast cancer.

About half the receipts from France didn’t have BPA. But they substituted bisphenol S (BPS), which is no better. It’s chemically similar to BPA and also an endocrine disruptor.

Cash Register Receipts Are Too Hazardous to Handle

The study team recommends you touch thermal receipts as little as possible.

Here’s how to minimize the risk:

  • Don’t crumple up receipts or put them in your pocket. Instead, ask the cashier to toss them out for you.
  • If you need a receipt for possible returns, ask the cashier to drop it into a shopping bag. When you get home, put it into an envelope for safe storage.
  • If you must handle a receipt, wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
  • It’s now common for stores to offer email receipts. Take them up on it.

You would never dream of putting toxic waste in your pocket or purse. But that’s what cash register receipts are. Do your health a favor and handle them as little as possible.

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