Posted on Nov 17, 2011, 6 a.m.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound regarded as an endocrine disruptor with potential risks to human health, is found in over 94% of thermal cash receipts as well as tickets, newspapers, and flyers printed worldwide.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound regarded as an endocrine disruptor with potential risks to human health. Used commonly in the manufacture of plastic water bottles and the lining of food cans, some researchers now investigate the extent of non-food sources of BPA in humans' daily BPA exposure. Kurunthachalam Kannan, from the State University of New York/Albany (SUNY; New York, USA), and colleagues, investigated the role of BPA in respect to the surfaces of thermal receipts, where it acts as a developer for the printing dye. Analyzing hundreds of samples of thermal cash register receipts and 14 other types of paper products from the U.S., Japan, Korea and Vietnam, the researchers found BPA on 94^ of the receipts. The only receipts with that were BPA-free were those from Japan, which phased out this use of BPA in 2001. As well, BPA was in most of the other types of paper products, with tickets, newspapers and flyers having the highest concentrations. From this data, the team estimates that handling of paper products can contribute up to 2% of the total daily BPA exposures in the general population, and that fraction can be much higher in occupationally exposed individuals. Writing that: “Concentrations of BPA dramatically increased after 24 h of contact with thermal receipt papers, suggesting that thermal receipt paper is an important source of BPA in paper currencies,” the study authors warn that: “The estimated daily intake of BPA through dermal absorption from handling paper currencies was on the order of a few nanograms per day.”
Chunyang Liao and Kurunthachalam Kannan. “High Levels of Bisphenol A in Paper Currencies from Several Countries, and Implications for Dermal Exposure.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45 (16), pp 6761–6768; July 11, 2011.