Continuous handling of receipts linked to higher urine BPA levels

Study participants who handled receipts printed on thermal paper continuously for 2 hours without gloves had an increase in urine bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations compared to when they wore gloves, according to a study in the February 26 issue of JAMA.

Human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with adverse health outcomes, including reproductive function in adults and neurodevelopment in children exposed shortly before or after birth. "Exposure to BPA is primarily through dietary ingestion, including consumption of canned foods. A less-studied source of exposure is thermal receipt paper, handled daily by many people at supermarkets, ATM machines, gas stations, and other settings," according to background information in the article. Thermal paper has a coating that is sensitive to heat, which is used in the process of printing on the paper, and has been shown to be transferred to skin with handling.

Shelley Ehrlich, M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H., of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a study to examine the effect of handling thermal receipts on urine BPA levels. The authors recruited 24 volunteers who provided before and after handling (with or without gloves) of receipts printed on for a continuous two hours. BPA was detected in 83 percent (n = 20) of urine samples at the beginning of the study and in 100 percent of samples after handling receipts without gloves. The researchers observed an increase in urinary BPA concentrations after continuously handling receipts for 2 hours without gloves, but no significant increase when the participants used gloves.

The clinical implications of the height of the peak level and of chronic exposure are unknown, but may be particularly relevant to populations with occupational exposure such as cashiers, who handle receipts 40 or more hours per week, the authors write. "A larger study is needed to confirm our findings and evaluate the clinical implications."

More information: JAMA DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.283735

Related Stories

Paper money worldwide contains bisphenol A

date Aug 10, 2011

The cash register receipts that people place near paper money in billfolds, purses, and pockets has led to a worldwide contamination of paper money with bisphenol A (BPA) — a potentially toxic substance ...

BPA increases risk of cancer in human prostate tissue

date Jan 07, 2014

Fetal exposure to a commonly used plasticizer found in products such as water bottles, soup can liners and paper receipts, can increase the risk for prostate cancer later in life, according to a study from the University ...

Recommended for you

Top European beers to show calorie counts

date 6 minutes ago

Beer drinkers in Europe will soon be able to find out the calorie count on their drinks after four of the world's biggest brewers said Thursday that they will list the information.

One in four high school seniors now try water pipes

date 5 hours ago

Despite declines in the number of youths who smoke cigarettes, hookah or water pipe use continues to rise among Canadian youth, a new study from the University of Waterloo reports. Published Monday in Cancer Ca ...

Arizona Legislature OKs abortion medication requirement

date 9 hours ago

Arizona lawmakers approved legislation that requires abortion providers to tell women they can reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion and bars women from buying any health care plan through the federal marketplace ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.