Research from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has determined that handling cash register receipts, common in credit card transactions, can increase exposure of the hormone disruptor Bisphenol A (BPA), but that exposure is well within limits considered safe when the receipts are handled under normal conditions.
The researchers tested 121 people exposed to the synthetic chemical through their skin and found their average BPA urinary excretion levels averaged 2.6 micrograms (mcg) per liter. The researchers then had test subjects handle thermal paper three times every five minutes, simulating a store cashier’s handling of receipts. The researchers found those that handled the thermal paper during the simulation test had an average increase in their BPA urinary excretions of just under 0.2 mcg per liter per kilogram of body weight. The researchers noted that this was still 25 times lower than the European Food Safety Authority’s proposed temporary tolerable daily intake of 5 mcg per liter per kilogram of body weight per day.
Primary sources of BPA exposure are plastics used in water bottles and many other consumer goods.