Continuous handling of receipts linked to higher urine BPA levels

February 25, 2014, The JAMA Network Journals

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."

Explore further: Widespread exposure to BPA substitute is occurring from cash register receipts, other paper

More information: JAMA DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.283735

Related Stories

Widespread exposure to BPA substitute is occurring from cash register receipts, other paper

July 11, 2012
People are being exposed to higher levels of the substitute for BPA in cash register thermal paper receipts and many of the other products that engendered concerns about the health effects of bisphenol A, according to a new ...

Exposure to chemical BPA before birth linked to behavioral, emotional difficulties in girls

October 24, 2011
Exposure in the womb to bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical used to make plastic containers and other consumer goods – is associated with behavior and emotional problems in young girls, according to a study led by researchers ...

Paper money worldwide contains bisphenol A

August 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 found in some ...

BPA increases risk of cancer in human prostate tissue

January 7, 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 ...

EU warns of Bisphenol health threat

January 17, 2014
The EU food safety watchdog warned Friday that exposure levels to Bisphenol A (BPA), already implicated as a health concern for babies, should be cut by a factor of 10.

Recommended for you

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 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.