In a frantic rush, I snatch the receipt from the machine, my fingers skimming over the prices and make sure I have everything I need.
Running to the car, I check my watch and fluster with the bags of groceries. Once again, my fingers brush along the receipt and I crumple it on my hand.
This life seems easy, right?
No problems. No worries. Or at least, no problems that we can see. Some scientists say that what makes people care is what benefits them. Or, in this case, poses danger to their well-being. Studies show that toxic chemicals in receipts contain BPS. BPS was created as an alternative for BPA. Companies worked hard to ensure that their goods were not harmful, and by altering BPA, they created BPS, which has a closely related structure and toxicology. This chemical has proven to disrupt hormones and harm reproductive, developmental, metabolic and cardiovascular health just like BPA.
Sure, grabbing a receipt and tossing it in your bag won’t immediately trouble your cardiovascular health, but over time with the rubbing and crumpling, the chemicals will build up in your system. Those most vulnerable to this contamination are the cashiers who are constantly dealing with this chemical. Research shows that cashiers who handle BPS contaminated receipts have
significantly higher BPS levels in their body.
With all those harms out in the open, taking a risk for every person in this country, there surely has to be a regulation, right? Nope. The country has no bans, or even public announcements about this danger.
It may never be possible to avoid BPS and BPA chemicals entirely, but there are ways to ensure your and others’ cleanliness.
1) Try not to let children handle receipts, at all if possible.
2) Washing hands after dealing with receipts is critical, especially before touching the face or eating.
3) Limit the amount of lotion, hand sanitizer, or any other substance to your hand before dealing with receipts. The grease acts as a sticky factor that increases the amount of chemicals transferred onto your skin.
4) Try and GO GREEN! Use email receipts if possible, or even none at all.
The best thing we can do is to be aware of the dangers that lurk in our world, even if it is a paperhanded to us as we leave the shopping mart.