Chemical BPA Found on Cash Register Receipts

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) _ A dangerous toxic chemical already known to be in certain kinds of food and drink packaging has turned up in another everyday item: cash register receipts.

Bisphenol A, or BPA is a toxic chemical linked to a number of chronic illnesses, like cancer and to neurological damage.

It’s also known to be in items like baby bottles and the lining of canned foods. It is regulated by the FDA, but a study released on Tuesday found that is also in cash register receipts.

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Senior Scientist at the Environmental Working Group, Anila Jacobs said it is used to make the print on thermal-coated paper.

“The concentration of BPA on receipts is exceptionally high compared to the concentrations in food. Just because that’s the way paper is made,” she said. “It’s in some cases hundreds of times higher.”

BPA can be absorbed into the skin by touch. But, Dr. Steven Hentges, a specialist with the American Chemistry Council points to another recent study that finds the amount of BPA in receipts is not a concern.

“Based on the full weight of scientific evidence, as reviewed by government bodies around the world, we agree that BPA is safe for use the way it is currently being used,” said Hentges.

The Environmental Working Group, which released Tuesday’s report, tested 36 receipts in seven states and found that 40 percent of them contained BPA.

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