Did you know that the average roll of white receipt-paper at your local market could be hazardous to your health? That may be surprising to you, but it is true. A study has revealed that the smooth coating on paper used in ATM machines and cash registers contains a dangerous chemical. Thankfully, there are safer alternatives available.
The coating on the problematic receipts is called BPA, which is short for bisphenol A. When humans or animals come into contact with this chemical, adverse health effects can occur. Not only is this compound found in paper; it is also in:
- Water bottles
- Food-storage containers
- Baby bottles
When you touch a receipt coated with this troublesome chemical, you can transfer it from your hands to your food. This is especially true if you buy groceries or a meal at a store with receipts printed on BPA-coated paper.
Hand Sanitizers Don’t Help
You may think you can eliminate any dangers of cross-contamination if you simply sanitize your hands, because many stores have hand-sanitizer dispensers near the carts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem because:
- Sanitizers increase the absorption of BPA, rather than decrease it.
- BPA can enter the body more easily when sanitizers have been used, because the cleansers break down body oils that serve as barriers.
There is a way to get around the BPA-laced-receipt problem. For example, you can shop at stores that stock their cash registers with healthier paper products. Manufacturers have created alternative papers that are safe to use. These non-toxic receipt-papers are:
- A natural shade of yellow
- Made from vitamin C thermal paper
- Premium quality
You can find the yellow receipts at a variety of grocery shops, convenience stores, coops, restaurants, and farmers markets. Stores that use the healthier alternative papers show their customers and employees that they really do care.
If you are among the growing bands of consumers who are getting smarter about the products they buy, you do have a choice. Every consumer who vows to be socially responsible can make a difference. You can vote with your wallet by choosing products and shopping in stores that:
- Are green
- Follow practices that are good for the planet
- Stock products, including receipt paper, that are healthy for the consumer
Why handle paper dispensed from ATM machines and cash registers that could harm your health? Shop at stores that stock healthier alternative papers and/or talk to the management at shops you frequent and ask them to replace their BPA-paper receipts with safer types.