Just when you thought it was safe to go to the grocery store …
This time, it is not the food (anyone remember Food Lion and bleach?). Depending on where you shop, it may be the cash register receipts.
A study my firm recently commissioned (conducted by Ensource, an independent environmental consulting firm), found that thermal cash register receipts from nearly thirty (30) percent of the stores sampled contained Bisphenol A (“BPA”). BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical. Other research has demonstrated that BPA on a cash register receipt can be transferred to the human body through skin contact.
So, even though most grocery chains have said they do not and will not use cash register paper that contains BPA, many apparently still do. In the Ensource study, five different grocery chains had receipts with BPA concentrations above sample reporting limits: Winn Dixie (Alabama, Georgia and Florida, some of the stores since-renamed to Bi-Lo), Ahold (NY/Suffolk County), Kroger (North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia), Martin’s (Virginia) and Safeway (Maryland).
Do these store chains know they have BPA-laced thermal receipt paper? Not necessarily. They depend on their paper suppliers, and while some suppliers provide BPA-free paper and test it to make sure it is BPA free, apparently not all suppliers follow those procedures.
How about the store where you shop . . . or the store you work in or manage? It is important to know. After all, these receipts are handled many times daily by clerks, as well as by shoppers and their children.
As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org