Continuous handling of receipts linked to higher urine BPA levels

February 25, 2014

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

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

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.