BPA Free Receipts
Early on in our relationship, my husband asked me to name my weirdest health habit. He wanted to know, up front, what he was dealing with.
I hesitated for a moment before sharing that I never touch receipts, unless I absolutely have to.
He was suitably satisfied with the level of extremity.
But the latest evidence suggests my behavior is validated.
Few people realise that BPA (bisphenol A) is dusted onto receipt surfaces to activate the printing dye. It can rub off on your fingers in seconds and enter your blood stream within hours.
In fact, BPA was used in the 1930s as a synthetic oestrogen to make animals fat.
So if you’ve got a little bit of a belly, look at how you’re storing your food – ie the containers you use. It’s not just what you eat, but what you eat it in that can make a difference. Choose glass and steel instead of plastic.
And don’t use hand sanitizer – especially if you’ve just touched the receipt for your sandwich. A 2014 study found that BPA absorption is enhanced by as much as 100 times thanks to the chemicals in your handbag disinfectant.
The good news?
Naturally-minded companies – including Neal’s Yard Remedies in the UK – are now using BPA-free receipts. I recently discovered the eco-dry cleaner Blanc does too.
The French owner, Ludovic Blanc, explained that it was important to him that his employees were not exposed to toxins at work. It’s a concern that should be shared by more employers. People who work behind the till, do in fact have higher levels of bisphenols in their blood according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers concluded that: ‘Thermal receipt paper is a potential source of occupational exposure to BPA, BPS, and BPSIP.’
My local beauty salon, Violet Adair (which, incidentally uses old fashioned beeswax – with camomile – for the best hair removal) recently switched to a completely receipt-less payment system; the iZettle. It’s certainly a good idea for small businesses.
If you currently work for a company that uses BPA receipts, then show your boss the evidence and request that they choose a less toxic option. And, in the meantime, do your best to pull BPA out of your body.
Spicy Korean Kimchi has been shown to reduce the effects of BPA and leafy greens like spinach and kale can counteract the cellular damage done by BPA according to studies from Duke University.