My accountant always has told me, “keep your receipts”, it’s the responsible thing to do to log data and report to the IRS for “write-off’s.” After reading the recent findings that the thermal paper you receive when you purchase something has BPA in it. I am telling everyone I meet about this to encourage retailers to purchase the alternative to keep their employees and customers BPA – FREE.
I found this resource from Laughing Planet Cafe in Portland who made the switch. Food Front also make the switch. Buy thermal paper without BPA. http://www.pospaper.com/19015dt.html
Thermal paper is widely used for point-of-sale receipts, prescription labels, airline tickets and lottery tickets. Thermal printers use paper that is coated with a dye and developer (BPA or an alternative chemical). Heat from the thermal printing head triggers a reaction between the dye and developer, allowing the black print to appear. In an effort to quantify how much BPA would transfer to a person’s hand, the laboratory performed wipe tests on four BPA-laden receipts. In all four cases, BPA transferred from the receipts to the wipes. An average of 2.4 percent of the receipts’ total BPA content wiped off, suggesting that a person who handled receipts would be exposed to some BPA in the thermal paper.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Definition: A synthetic substance widely used to make polycarbonated plastics for the past 50 years to make them durable. Type of plastic: polycarbonate #7.
Products: Found in food and drink containers, the lining of tin cans, toys, baby bottles, dental sealants, flame-retardants,plastic wraps and now recently discovered in thermal receipt paper from the register. This chemical easily leaches out into food and water. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear and nearly shatter-proof, is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics. Epoxy resins containing bisphenol A are used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans. Bisphenol A is also a precursor to the flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A, and was formerly used as a fungicide.
Health problems: Endocrine Disruptor. Increase of obesity, diabetes, cancer (breast and prostrate). Reduced fertility. Alternatives: stainless steel water bottles, glass and stainless food containers, mother’s milk, bpa free compost fillings. From www.ewg.org In January, the Food and Drug Administration, which previously called BPA safe, announced it has “some concerns” about the chemical’s potential effects on brain development of fetuses, infants and children. It did not say BPA is unsafe.
The Environmental Working Group recommends these tips for reducing BPA exposure from receipts:
* Minimize receipt collection by declining receipts at gas pumps, ATMs and other machines when possible.
* Store receipts separately in an envelope in a wallet or purse.
* Never give a child a receipt to hold or play with.
* After handling a receipt, wash hands before preparing and eating food (a universally recommended practice even for those who have not handled receipts). * Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin’s BPA absorption.
* Take advantage of store services that email or archive paperless purchase records. * Do not recycle receipts and other thermal paper. BPA residues from receipts will contaminate recycled paper.
* If you are unsure, check whether paper is thermally treated by rubbing it with a coin. Thermal paper discolors with the friction; conventional paper does not.
From EWG: The company that has consumer’s backs.
Here is a resource on where to buy thermal paper without BPA.
Pass it along to everyone you know! They will thank you.