Random assemblage of receipts. Image credit: Wasteman
Reports about BPA often imply that all humans are equally threatened by exposures to BPA. This is false. People whose work requires them to handle receipts all day and those who eat a lot of canned food have the highest body burdens of BPA. The rest of us not so much. The solution is about phasing out applications of BPA that create very high exposures. Example: as reported in Environmental Health News: "Those who consumed canned vegetables at least once a day had 44 percent more BPA in their urine than those who consumed no canned vegetables, according to the study, which was published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives." I probably eat canned food (in metal cans) once in a blue moon. Somebody has to be making up for my lack of interest in this product category. Who is it?The receipts exposure issue is really interesting:
Occupation mattered: Women who were cashiers had the highest concentrations, while industrial workers and teachers had the lowest. The pregnant cashiers had on average 55 percent more BPA in their urine than the pregnant teachers.Poisonous receipts span two generations
BPA is found in some cash register receipts, and it could be absorbed through the skin or ingested. Wearing gloves may reduce exposure. Some companies are eliminating the chemical. Appleton Papers, the largest producer of thermal papers in North America, said that it stopped using BPA in 2006. [Editor's Note: Changes made to story on 10/8/2010]
Much of the PCB contamination we read about from the 60's and 70's has to do with an now banned use of PCB's as ink diluent in micro-encapsulated ink for receipts and in the now abandoned but once prevalent application of "carbonless paper." So, we went from the frying pan into the fire in changing from PCBs to BPA.
Could we not come up with a system to opt in for an email instead of a scrap of hazardous paper? Would save some trees too.
More on BPA and canned food
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles ...
Is There Bisphenol A In Your Home Canning?
Companies You Can Trust to Use BPA-Free Cans :
Consumers Reports Confirms Bisphenol A Leaches From Tin Cans ...